Final Fantasy 9: The last one of the Old Kind
Story by McT, Do7Mo7Y2o01
No.416 was standing on the small bridge in front of the Black Mage Village inn, quietly staring down into the sparkling water of the brook. He felt that his time was coming.
His whole, short life already felt like it was nothing more than a memory - the usually bright colors around him suddenly felt dull and blurred, but he could see that beyond that thin curtain he always had called reality, there were all the lights and colors of the past, shimmering and flowing.
The village itself had changed a lot in those past few months since No.416 came here. He had heard that the Queen of Alexandria had done everything to prepare her people for meeting up with Black Mages again - this time in peace. It had been the hope of all the older Mages in this village that, after all the destruction their kind had caused, it would be possible to someday live normal lifes, without having to hide, and the fear to be hated. To prove that Black Mages weren't just the replacable, soulless death bringers they had been made for.
No.416 was too young to know about all this. When he had been made, and when he had come here, this cruel war the others had told him about already was over. But it still had shocked him when he first heard about it, and he admired the older Mages for what they had accomplished. They had built this village, and they had used their time to learn about the ways of living and trading. In a really short time, they had learned everything they'd need to know to go back to the Mist Continent and be a part of the people there.
Only, the people would hate them if they saw them again.
Still, they hadn't given up. Even though they knew of their limited lifespan that wouldn't make it possible to be accepted in time, they kept going. No... the other people in this world mustn't remember Black Mages as death puppets... it would not be fair.
Vivi, the oldest and smallest of the Mages, had kept them motivated. He had told everyone about the places and little wonders they could find everywhere in the world out there. About the power of life and memories, and that it was never too late to prove yourself. With the help and knowledge of the Genomes, they had built that machine in their village. The Black Mages born from it were taught everything they'd need to know by their fathers, and now continued this dream. Their lifespan was much longer, about as long as that of a human, and only some of them still had numbers for names (because they liked the ring of it), but else they weren't any different to the old ones.
Soon, they would all go to Alexandria. Under the personal guidance of Queen Garnet, people would try to suppress their hatred, and maybe have a second, thorough look at the pointy-hatted beings. That was the plan. And if it'd all go well, the other cities would slowly start to accept the Mages again, too, with the help of the few but influent people in each of them who were on their side.
No.416 looked up and around the busy village. None of those who lived here now were those No.416 had gotten to know when he came to this place. None of them. It was painful to realize, but at the same time he was glad and proud that it all was going so well. He knew the older Mages had been right: It WOULD be worth it. Their memories would live on - in the hearts of the people.