Sunday, April 1, 2012

Ain't No Grave Can Hold My Body Down

(A fan-fiction partially inspired by true events, plus inspired by events copyrighted by Johnny Cash and by WWE.)

It had seemed like one day had melted into another.  It must've been years since I felt I had been lifted from the chaos that was Port Jeuno for what I could've sworn was the last time.

I was in meditation.  Contented...  meditation.  I had built a shrine to every evil and destructive force I could think of.  At that point, I felt it was going to be the last time that I ever did much heavy lifting before I went to cleanse my mind of years of adventuring.

But, one day, I heard a bell.  A deep, resonating noise.  It disconcerted me the first time, in the middle of my meditation on the damage I'd like to do.

But then, the old Galka began to hear it every day.  Then a second, then a third.  I began to pace nervously, as I tried to figure out the source.

Then, one dark night on my mountain sanctuary, I began to hear a voice.  It wasn't Altana, and at first, I thought it was going to be Promathia or somesuch.

It was...  Johnny Cash??

"Ain't no grave can hold my body down...
 There ain't no grave can hold my body down..."

I tried to grasp at it, to find out what was causing it...

"When I hear that trumpet sound,
 I'm going to rise right out of the ground...
Ain't no grave can hold my body down..."

At that point, I walked outside my makeshift sanctuary.  The night was clear as a bell, and, yet, I felt rain.

I looked up, hearing a second voice:

"Starcade...  Go back..."

At that point, I thought I had taken one too many shots to the head.

Forget that, about 10,000 too many...

I had but one response:

"But I have been condemned..."

At that point, I felt it, clear as day.  Altana's Tear.

"No.  Maybe for a time...  You must not sin any more.  You cannot let them take you."

The drum, the call to march, grew louder...

"But they will scorn...", was an interrupted response.

"Scorn they shall, and their presence is required to keep Vana'diel whole.  But so is yours...", was the last I heard of the voice.

I meditated for weeks on that thought.  Then, I heard another verse from The Man in Black, and it was settled:

"Well, look way down the river
 And what do you think I see
 I see a band of angels
 and they're coming after me
 Ain't no grave can hold my body down..."

At that, I gathered my robes and began to slowly descend.  I did turn around once, but one final meditation convinced me that, even if eventually smote by Altana herself, that it was right...  for Starcade.

So I came down off the mountain and slowly walked across the plains of Batallia Downs...

Back to Jeuno, where it all ended.

The chaos was evident.  Pies were even flying through the air.

I walked through, swearing someone was going to notice me and begin it immediately.  Thankfully, if they had, my filters against such noise were still intact.

I made it back to my old mog house.  I hugged my Moogle tightly, and eventually ran over to Aht Urghan to procure enough currency to maintain the old mog locker.

At that, I set out to work on catching up.  There had been changes made, but, at the end of the day, through the call for that Yagudo Caulk, Joachim's notification that I had enough traverser stones to start a factory, etc., came that voice...

"Ain't no grave can hold my body down..."

I looked up and said audibly, "You are sure?"

"Today is the day to fight for you.  Good luck.", came Altana's response.

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