Episode Zero -Treasure- Chapter 4

This is the fourth chapter of Part Three: Treasure of Episode Zero -Promise- written by Jun Eishima.
The translation below is by Lissar. Because official romanizations of the names have not yet been released, they might be off.

She wasn’t lying when she said tomorrow. It was evening, but I was finally allowed to see Dahj. I left you back in the room because I was worried if you went Dajh wouldn’t be able to figure out what his Focus was.
Don’t be mad! Dad really wants the two of you to meet. But the Lieutenant was right about kids. When something else takes their attention, they’ll forget about anything else. At the time, I didn’t really understand what they meant by Focus. Not really. But I was panicked. Not just then, but the whole time. I was just so… worried.
What does a six year old boy understand? Could he understand?
It’s all I could think about…

When they called Sazh in, it was a different room than he had been to yesterday. Instead of a monitor, there was a huge window. You could see the next room perfectly. But you couldn’t see into this room from the other side. If you could, Dajh would have seen him and come running. They probably used this room to monitor their subjects.
“Do you want to see him first? Or would you like me to tell you what we’ve found?”
“What you’ve found… please.”
He wanted to see Dajh very much, but he was worried about the results of tests. If he was thinking about it when he saw Dajh, he’d make his son worry. He thought it would be best to hear about it first.
In the next room there was an officer who was playing with Dajh. The man was probably in his early thirties. His cool silver hair and scar on his forehead looked as though it would scare children, but Dajh seemed to like him. The man probably liked children. His face looked grim, but you could tell by looking at him play with Dajh. Or perhaps he just took his duties seriously.
“Dajh is a good boy. He isn’t shy at all, and he listens to others.” Looking through the window, Nabaat smiled.
“Well his mother died when he was very young. He’s had to go to babysitters and through child care, so he’s gotten used to playing with other adults. That’s why I changed from a long distance route to a local one, so I could be more of a father.”
Before his wife had died three years ago, he had been all about his job. It had been his dream to become a pilot, and he had finally gotten signed on as a pilot for a long distance route. Everyday seemed perfect.
When he changed to a local route pilot all for his son, everyone was surprised. Even Sazh thought it was strange. He had worked so hard for it, to suddenly give it up like that. But he didn’t feel he was wrong. He realized for the first time what it was like to spend time with your child. It was fun, and it warmed his heart.
He didn’t want Dajh to be lonely, now that he didn’t have his mother. For the past three years he had worked and taken care of him as best he could. But, in reality, it was Dajh who had saved Sazh. His smiles and his laughter became things to live for.
“What did you find? Can you heal him of this… l’Cie thing?” I don’t want to lose Dajh’s smile, Sazh thought. But Nabaat's eyes grew sad.
“With human technology… I’m sorry, but it’s just not possible.”
“No…” Sazh said, his voice seemed faint and far away. If Dajh doesn’t complete his Focus he’ll become a Cie Corpse. A monster. If he completes it he’ll become a crystal. The old texts had said, “The l’Cie who has completed their Focus will be turned to crystal and be granted eternity.” But to humans such a thing is the same as death.
Sazh looked to the other side of the window. The officer was giving Dajh a piggyback ride. Dajh was laughing and clapping his hands in delight. His smile was the same as ever, though now he was a ‘l’Cie’. Just because of some scribble on his hand, he’d never again to able to lead a normal life…
“And if you could take the mark off? If there was some sort of skin-grafting procedure, and you could just remove it?”
Even in the worst case, if they had to cut off his hand entirely, it would still be better than becoming a monster or a crystal. Even if he couldn’t use his hand anymore, he would still have a chance to live a happy life.
“We can’t. We don’t know what would happen to Dajh. There is so much we don’t know about the l’Cie… no, really we don’t know anything at all.”
“I regret that there is nothing we can do about this. But right now we have to think about finding Dajh’s powers and Focus. We have to think of cutting off the mark as a last resort. We can’t rush this.”
That was easy to say, but they didn’t know how much time there was left. Whether the time limit for completing his Focus was tomorrow, or the day after, they couldn’t tell. It could even be a year or two from now…
“There has been some progress, however.”
“Progress? What are you talking about?”
“Well, this is still all hypothetical,” Nabaat started explaining, “It seems Dajh has the power to sense those from Pulse. He probably will be able to tell where the l’Cie that attacked Ewleede are, as well as the fal’Cie who controls them.”
The bit of hope he had fell back into despair. He can tell where those Pulse people were. But what would that do? He didn’t understand anything about that. He realized that this was the difference between himself and PSICOM. For those who are protecting Cocoon from Pulse, such an ability would definitely be seen as ‘progress’. They were the same as the fal’Cie. They only wanted to use Dajh.
He didn’t know what exactly it was he expected from PSICOM, from the Sanctum. He couldn’t depend on Nabaat or anyone in PSICOM. The only one who would do anything for Dajh would be himself.
“Please… let me see Dajh. Let me see my son.”
“Of course. Right this way please.” Nabaat stood up, smiling. He didn’t if it was because his feelings had changed, but he felt there was something cold behind her smile.
“Dajh has been very excited to hear that you’d be coming.”
What was she trying to make him do? He couldn’t trust her.
Dajh burst through the door as it opened.
Dajh leapt at him, and Sazh picked him up and held him. He felt the same as always. When he felt him in his arms, he realized what pain it would cause him if Dajh no longer existed. He didn’t want to lose this feeling, this warmth. He would protect him however he could.
“Hey, daddy…”
Quickly wiping his tears away from the corners of his eyes, he let Dajh down.
“What is it?” He knelt down and looked into Dajh’s face.
“I wanna see fireworks! Big ones!”
“Yeah, big ones. Lots in the sky! Like this,” Dajh said, making a big circle in the air with his hands.
“Well, they still have all this testing to do, so maybe not now…”
“No! Fireworks! Big fireworks!”
He wanted to give Dajh anything he wanted. But he didn’t think PSICOM would let them. Now that they knew he had the power to feel those from Pulse, they would keep testing him until they knew his Focus.
“Well, how about after the tests?”
“No! The fireworks will be gone!”
Dajh was more insistent than usual. Normally, even if he’d demand what he wanted at first, eventually he’d give in and do as he was told. It made Sazh wish even more that he could give him what he wanted.
“But right now there are tests…” He looked at Nabaat. Dajh was a good kid, if it was explained to him that the tests were important, then he’d understand. He might be sad, but he’d still obey. But Nabaat said something completely unexpected.
“When you say they’ll be gone, do you mean the fireworks festival?”
That’s right, there was that fireworks festival in Bowdam a couple of days from now. He wondered if Dajh had noticed the posters that were up in Bowdam when they passed through on their way to see the fal’Cie.
“Why do you want to go? Do you like fireworks?”
Dajh looked up, as if searching for the answer. He pressed his lips together.
“What’s wrong Dajh?”
“….. it’s there.” He whispered, clinging to Sazh.
“What’s there?”
He pressed his nose against Sazh’s shoulder and shook his head.
“Okay, Dajh. We’ll all go see the fireworks together.” Nabaat said, while rubbing Dajh’s back. Was she serious?
“Lieutenant, are you sure we should…”
“I believe it would be worth checking out.” She pushed up her glasses with the tip of her finger, and nodded at the officer.
“We haven’t heard Dajh say anything like this before. It’s possible that if his power to sense those from Pulse is working, there will be something at the fireworks festival in Bowdam.”
Of course, how you treat others and how you treat your family is going to be different. Sazh kept quiet. They may want him to complete his Focus as soon as possible, but Sazh just wanted to take him to the fireworks festival. He didn’t want them testing Dajh anymore.

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