Fandom: Final Fantasy 7 (Crisis Core)
Rating: worksafe, yes; brainsafe, maybe
Warnings: Imagery from Jewish mysticism. Trust me, that has to be warned for. Hooboy.
Word count: 884
Summary: He was the good one no matter what, it seemed.
Prompt: Angeal: Good Guy - He was the good one, no matter what, it seemed.
A/N: Before I start, all the game dialogue, I translated myself out of the Japanese, so if it doesn't match the official English release, sorry about that--some places, what was said is just different. I tried watching the English clips on youtube, but had massive failure because my first and primary exposure to the game is in Japanese, and hearing it in English was creating highly unpleasant cognitive dissonance.
*pulls out Joudama Explains It All hat, blows off the dust, and sticks it on*
Hod (Majesty) is the sefira in the eighth position of on the Tree of Life, and indicates "surrender, sincerity, and steadfastness." The position before it is Netzach, "victory," and it is from Netzach that the Light of God flows, and Netzach and Hod are related to each other--Hod is seen as "prayer," which is a form of submission: Netzach fights and conquers the obstacles in the way, while Hod submits, subduing oneself to higher powers. Further, the different sefirot correspond to different parts of the body, and Netzach and Hod are the right and left feet--they are the base on which you stand; they are what propel you and move you forward, and to move, both are necessary, working in tandem. People have to know when to fight and when to conceded to go forward in life.
Both of them, Netzach and Hod (and you can't talk about one without the other; they're also known as "the scales," after all) are extensions, in a way, of the sefira above them: Netzach of Chesed, Mercy, and Hod? The position above Hod is Gevurah--Severity, the sefira said to be the one from which evil was allowed to enter the world.
So Hod on the surface seems to be a case where evil, in the guise of goodness, is triumphing, and all that can be done is submit. It can also be seen as not simply vengeance--vengeance is the purvey of Gevurah, after all--but as retribution deserved (just roll with the contradictions, yo--that's what I'm doing). Hod is leeway given to evil and the wicked, because in the end, they evil is going to be far more screwed than we can manage to do--the chickens are going to come home to roost, and it's going to be one hell of a shitstorm, so Hod is acceptance of our shitty luck now, because karma is going to come and bite the baddies in the ass.
Hod is also associated with the ability to advance towards one's goals in life, moving forward with determination, commitment, and perseverance. Hod is also all about persevering--hunker down and wait the bad out, because it'll work itself out as it should in the end, and a sublime submission of the self towards attainment of the ultimate goal. That's where the majesty lies, you see--in giving up all that you are so that you win in the end.
*takes of Joudama Explains It All hat, dies*
And the world was as mist, everything distorted and unclear. Everything that had made sense was gone; the world turned upside down and broken; all was chaotic and confused. When the wings had appeared he had shattered, and everything that had been clear had become as mist, and with each time he used the monstrous power within him, he fragmented more; parts of him not just copied but lost with each time he did it, and crying out to return. The mists and uncertainty deepened each time, and part of him wished for a point to come when he had scattered so far that those scattered sparks could have no memory of being whole; could not cry out to be united once again. And so he sank into it, shattering more, in despair not holding tight but letting the shards of self fall where they would; his sense of what he was and what he was supposed to be unable to hold.
"What is it you want?"
"Quit it with the crappy jokes!"
"Fine, then, revenge."
"I...I've become a monster. And the only things I can think of that a monster wants are world domination or revenge."
And there was the weight; he was what he was, and the weight of it tore at him. This was larger than him, larger than anything he had ever faced; greater than something he could fight. He gave into it, unable to do more, unable to be more. He would have vengeance on the world, for vengeance was what the world had earned.
"No, you're wrong. Wings aren't proof of being a monster."
"Then what is this?"
"An angel's wing."
"Is that so? Well, then, what should I want? What dreams should I have?!
"Angels only have one dream."
"To become human."
He struck and the boy went flying, not even trying to defend himself. And when the boy rose, he rose into a fighting stance and then dropped his arms, stance abandoned.
"FIGHT ME!!" he yelled, seeking a moment of clarity, seeking the oblivion that would come, because this was a fight he would not win; a fight he would not fight. The boy would win, he could do nothing but win, and then mists would clear for good or overtake him for good, and either way there would be a peace of sorts, either he would find clarity or find oblivion.
And instead the boy shook his head, a smile on his face, refusing.
He plunged the boy into the abyss, and the mist overtook him again.
"Zack, do you remember? Our promise to fight everything that brought suffering to the world?"
"Yeah...but that doesn’t include you!"
"I brought suffering to myself. And I'll show you, Zack."
And then, there was only light.
"Angeal!" the boy screamed, echoing in the light as the mists surrounded him once more. "What about pride?!"
And when the mists faded there even the light was gone. And for once, for the first time in very long, Angeal could let himself smile.
"Zack...you did...pretty well, kid."
He held out his sword, the only thing that was left, the only thing that mattered. It was the sword that held his pride, held his dreams, and those things would all be fulfilled, so long as there was one to wield the sword that held his dreams, held his pride, held his spark. "So...look after this for me.
"Don't...forget your pride."
And then once more, there was only light.
Light, and the voices of thousands of millions, the voice of all that was and all that had been, a peace and reward that called to him. And yet he held back, fragments of himself still apart, some still separate and still unable to rest, still far away even as more of them came to this peaceful place, and those from afar cried out that his work was not done, that there was still suffering and he must snuff it out; it was his enemy and always would be, all that brought suffering to the world, and he would fight until it was gone. But he was now nothing but spark, but in this place, in this space there was more that he could do than he had ever been able to before. He had waited and now, in one instant, he could be feel his pride again.
And the sparks, scattered far and buried within fragmented vessels, began to resonate, and as a fragment touched that Buster sword, everything was so clear.
"And you call yourself a SOLDIER?! Who needs a SOLDIER this pathetic."
And then, there was only white, white that gave way to a sky as blue as eyes that one could never fear, clouds as pure as pride and a monster's wings. And the boy looked up, looking so much older than he had been, older and lost in that vast nothingness, but the light of that certainty of cause and rightness of self granting him the ability to do what was needed at last.
And from the sky, a final spark fell, floating from the sky.
"Please...lend me your wings, too..."
And with that, all that was wrong with all in the world that mattered, all that brought him suffering, shattered.