Welcome back, viewers! Before the break, your intrepid news team braved fiends and Al Bhed to bring you a first exclusive look at the devastation wrought by Operation Mi’ihen!
Now let’s check out the buzz around Luca, the second greatest city in Spira! What lies in store for our marvelous metropolis now that its Crusader defenders have deserted their posts?
I’m standing in front of Luca Stadium, that very spot where off-duty Crusaders could be seen relaxing and regaling children with Highroad tales almost any day of the week. You’d think the bench would be empty now. But in fact...
The more things change, the more the spiral continues, as the saying goes. Loosen up, lady, you’re in Luca!
Scoping out the docks, we find more arrivals fresh off the boat from Bevelle. Some of them have caught the Luca vibe already.
Wow, that’s a mighty big ship, isn’t it? Sorry, folks, but the Grand Maester hasn’t decided to stick around for the season. Jumal of Luca Square tipped us off: “The ship at dock number 3 brought lots of warrior monks to Luca. I feel much safer now.” Sources confirm they’re under direct orders from Maester Kinoc to protect Luca, filling in for the Crusaders.
Good timing, eh? Maester Kinoc must have seen which way the wind was blowing and laid plans to secure the port, just in case the Crusaders fell flat on their faces. Foresight of Yevon, folks!
Our citizens are quickly adapting to the new security measures. “The warrior monks seem stronger than the Crusaders. I hope they'll protect us from now on,” said one grateful Lucan outside our studio, echoing the sentiments of many. Even the Ronso Fangs approve of the change. “When warrior monks protect stadium, fiends have no chance of breaking in,” declares Zamzi Ronso.
Of course, Luca wouldn’t be Luca without some grumbling. “I’m grateful that the warrior monks are here to protect Luca, but aren’t there a few too many?” worried Abus, superstar scorer for the Goers. And Balgerda, as we know, is a harsh taskmaster.
Come on, Mighty B, they’re just studying your beat tackle!
One dock guard privately confided to us, “With so many warrior monks here, I don’t know whether to feel safe or threatened.” Of course, if he’d been doing his job and kept the stadium safe, we wouldn’t need warrior monks!
Still, he’s not the only one unnerved by the sight of so many armed soldiers in the streets.
"Occupation” may be too strong a word, but perhaps it’s understandable that a few Lucans are whispering it. After all, until Grand Maester Mika’s visit, Bevelle seldom paid much attention to Luca. Even the Bevelle Bells and the Yocun Nomads have stopped playing the southern blitzball circuit. Maybe they’ll be back for the Yevon Cup next year!
Other Lucans have more practical complaints. Tobli the ticket reseller is having trouble keeping up with his new high-class clientele.
But most Lucans view the new arrivals in a more positive light. This canny entrepreneur knows an opportunity when she sees it.
We hear that armor polish and nog are always a big hit with the tin-plated crowd. Good luck, Mifurey!
Meanwhile, some Lucans are offering a more personal welcome to our new arrivals. But be warned: wimps need not apply.
Ouch! Better luck next time, Spoony.
And what about the Crusaders? The guns of Operation Mi’ihen were loud enough to be heard clear back to Luca, but now the road to Djose is eerily silent. Many wounded soldiers fled south along the Highroad, moving some onlookers to tears. Others are less sympathetic.
Some locals fear the sinspawn released by Operation Mi’ihen may draw Sin to Luca as well. “What if the Crusaders just angered Sin? What will we do then?” frets Jumal’s wife. It seems the Crusaders’ popularity in their hometown is at an all-time low.
Still, many remember the Crusaders’ better days when they protected Luca with honor. “It's a pity about the Crusaders. They were all such devoted fighters,” says one pushcart vendor in Luca square. “Ronso are pious race. But still, we respect Crusaders' courage,” declares Argai Ronso. And one warrior monk on patrol expressed his heartfelt wishes for his predecessors:
Some even speculate that Operation Mi’ihen might have succeeded with better allies than the Al Bhed: “With only the Crusaders and the Al Bhed helping, no wonder we lost. Where were the Ronso, or the Guado?”
Good point! Of course, we know where one Guado was: Maester Seymour was doing the Crusaders’ job for them, protecting Luca stadium from a fiend incursion! And now the Guado are helping guard the Highroad. As for the Ronso...
Lord Kelk Ronso is the only Maester who hasn’t honored the south with a visit. Perhaps if he does, we can ask him.
The few surviving Crusaders have limped home, some to the islands now that ferry service has resumed. However, we spotted one junior cadet outside the sphere theatre who has not deserted his post.
But he may not be a Crusader much longer.
Speaking of recruitment drives, there’s a warrior monk and Crusader rubbing elbows in the bar. Let’s listen in!
“With Operation Mi’ihen a failure, it’s over for the Crusaders.”
“Then do you wanna become a warrior monk? I'll introduce you to our leader.”
“What? We disobeyed the teachings, but it's still okay?”
“Hey, we all help each other out in a time of need, right?”
Afterwards, we asked the tolerant warrior monk about the wisdom of accepting those who have turned their backs on Yevon. He explained, “The Crusaders and warrior monks share a common desire to protect the people.”
It sounds like he may have made a convert. “It may actually be nice to quit the Crusaders and join the warrior monks,” the ex-Crusader told us.
Just as we were leaving the bar, one patron insisted that we report on a rumor that’s been circulating in Luca ever since the tournament.
Yes, we’ve heard about the disappearing summoners, too! Our investigation is ongoing, but scuttlebutt around the docks points in one direction...
At this time, we cannot confirm the rumors about an Al Bhed kidnapping attempt on Summoner Yuna during the tournament. All we can tell you is that their ship left suddenly under mysterious circumstances.
We asked Nedus, an unemployed Al Bhed blitz player, if he could tell us what happened to the rest of his crew, but he was less than communicative.
[translation: “Many Al Bhed lost their lives in the operation.”]
And of course, Luca’s still speculating about how those fiends got into the stadium!
Do you know anything? Did you see anything? The Bevelle garrison leader asks for the public’s help in collecting information.
Luca Network News also depends on tips from viewers, so don’t forget to stop by our studio afterwards!
Well, that’s a wrap, loyal viewers. On behalf of Luca, the second largest city in Spira, we’d like to welcome our new warrior monk and Guado protectors, and wish them all the blessings of Yevon!
***** BONUS: *****
The 5-Minute “Noon Edition” of Shaami’s Broadcast...
As you all know, Operation Mi’ihen ended in utter failure. With the Crusaders annihilated, the warrior monks and the Guado have been assigned to take up security posts in various locales. This dispatch was ordered by Maester Kinoc and Maester Seymour as they... (H-Hey! Would you stop interrupting my broadcast? You get enough attention already!)
...The mysterious disappearance of the summoners may somehow be connected to the Al Bhe... (Ahh! Just let me do my job!)
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