My name is Tedrick Badlock.
I'm a star blitzball player for the Zanarkand Abes. At least, I was, before Sin attacked. Ever since then, I was found washed up in Spira somewhere. I don't know how, and I'm not even sure where Spira is, but comparing it to my Zanarkand was impossible. It's just something so strange and so different.
At first, I washed up at a ruined old temple, where a monstrous fiend in the water almost ate me for dinner, and I struggled to not succumb to hunger, fiends, or the cold. It was there that I met an Al Bhed boy named Cookie. He was kind to me through my ordeals on the Al Bhed salvage ship. Cookie and I discovered an underwater airship together, and he fed me and kept me company on the salvage ship.
Then, Sin attacked the boat, and I slid overboard. When I next woke up, I was at some kind of beach, where I met Barku Murdock. Barku was the captain and coach (as well as player) for the Besaid Aurochs blitzball team. Along with him, I met a little boy named Hao Wing Kim Yao. Hao and Barku offered to help me out. No one believed I was from Zanarkand, and they thought I said that because I got too close to Sin's toxin. What in the world is toxin?
Even though no one believed me about being from Zanarkand, Barku and Hao were nice. They showed me the prayer (which was also the blitzball sign for good luck) and invited me to their house. I also decided to join Barku's team, the Besaid Aurochs.
The house was small, but all the houses in town were. Pottery lined the shelves, and there wasn't a door, only a curtain. The homes were like tents. I relaxed on the bed while Barku and Hao prepared lunch. The savory smell of meat and broth wafted over and gently lulled me to sleep.
I dreamed of home, with the lighted up streets and fans cheering me on, diving into the field and playing against the other Zanarkand blitzball teams. I dreamed of the cold temple where I had knelt beside a fire for warmth, hoping I didn't die. I dreamed of the Salvage ship, where Cookie fed me and kept me company, his bright smile giving me hope.
In my sleep, I heard someone talking to Barku. It was a worried and exasperated voice.
"Aren't you going to come?" the stranger asked.
"Thought we weren't allowed to interfere." Barku replied simply.
"But...it's been nearly..." the stranger said. Before I could hear more, I fell back asleep. Fatigue had gotten the better of me.
When I woke back up, I found Hao on the couch, getting up from having fallen asleep himself. Barku was nowhere to be found. My assumption was that he went with the stranger.
"Say Hao...where's Barku?" I asked. The small boy rubbed his eyes and stretched. Hao looked around, having just realized Barku was gone. The small boy's eyes then darted to the door.
"Shoot! He probably went to the village temple. Come with me." Hao said. The small boy pulled his shorts off and put on a nice blue keikogi with hakama of the same color. I then watched him put on his boots. It seemed to me that the boy was just as passionate a follower of Yevon as others, though I wondered what his connection to it was. He picked up his shakujo, and we left.
I followed Hao out of the house and up the road to the temple. The temple was large, a great center of praying. Men, women, and even children knelt beside statues inside the spacious main hall. I saw Barku talking to the temple priest.
"What's going on?" I asked as I walked up to them, Hao trotting alongside me.
"The summoner hasn't returned from the trial." Barku said solemnly.
"The what?" I asked, little more than surprised.
"Well an apprentice summoner, really." Barku added.
"So...what's the apprentice summoner doing in there?" I asked, looking at the passage up the stairs.
"There's a room in there called the Cloister of Trials. Beyond that is where the apprentice summoner prays. If the prayer's heard, the apprentice becomes a full-fledged summoner." Hao explained.
"So someone's in there, and they aren't out yet?" I asked.
"A day's passed already." Barku said, biting his bottom lip.
"Is it...dangerous in there?" I asked, eyeing the passage once more.
"Sometimes, yeah." Barku muttered.
"Why don't you go in there and help?" I asked.
"There's already guardians in there. Besides, it's forbidden." Barku replied. I turned and ran up the steps.
"What if something happens? What if the summoner dies?" I asked, halfway up. I couldn't stand the thought of an innocent person dying because of some stupid religious taboo about no one being able to help them.
"The precepts must be obeyed!" the priest shouted.
"Like I care about your damn precepts!" I cried, and I ran up the stairs and into the room.
The first room had strange patterns on the walls. I touched a glyph on the wall, a strange glyph that glowed green. I recoiled against the far wall when the wall slid open, revealing a descending passage. I edged over curiously, then descended the stairway into another room. I found a piece of paper and read it.
Glyph spheres open the path to the Fayth, Destruction spheres open the way to hidden treasure, Besaid spheres are also necessary, but the sphere depends on the name of the town.
It included drawings of the spheres. A sphere was right in front of me. By the look of it, it was a Glyph sphere. I continued down until I came across a beautifully designed door with a sphere-shaped recess in it. I inserted my Glyph sphere. The doors opened, and I found myself in a long passage with many turns in it. There were odd symbols on the wall, and I touched them. The wall slid open, revealing a room with a Besaid sphere. I took the Besaid sphere and placed it on a pedestal in the wall. The wall dissolved, and then I pushed the pedestal into a square opening.
"Hey! What's got into you?!" a voice demanded from behind. It was Barku. Hao followed him dutifully.
"Only summoners, apprentice summoners and their guardians can enter here." Hao added.
"It's tradition. Very important." Barku chimed in.
"So what about you guys?" I asked.
"Me? I'm a guardian." Barku said. "The little guy is one too."
"A guardian?" I asked. I almost fell as the circle on the ground lowered.
"Summoners go on a pilgrimage to pray at every temple in Spira. Guardians are the one that protect them." Hao explained.
"The guardians in there now...one of them's a real straightforward guy. The other is full of pride. You'd do best to be on good terms with them." Barku said. The circular elevator-like device that had carried us down stopped.
"Now that we've come this far, might as well go all the way." Barku added.
We entered a room. There was a reddish-haired fellow dressed in black, and another guy with jet-black hair. The one with reddish hair wore a look of pure disinterest, like he was extremely bored. He wore a black short sleeve shirt and black pants. The black-haired guy wore a blue muscle shirt and pants of the same color.
"What are you doing here Barku? Did you reckon we couldn't handle it ourselves?" the ginger haired one asked.
"Well...er..." Barku trailed off.
"We can handle it." the dark haired one muttered. The light haired one walked over to us.
"And who is this, Barku?" he asked.
We looked up in time to see the door of a room up the stairs from us open.
A guy with a red afro stumbled out. He looked around at us, then almost fell down the stairs before the dark-haired guy caught him. A bead of sweat ran down the side of his face.
"Bros...I did it! I'm a summoner!" he said.
I learned the summoner's name was LT. His ginger-haired guardian was named Callan, and the fierce dark-haired one was King. He had been born here in Besaid, and was well-loved by the villagers for being so fun-loving and easygoing.
As soon as we emerged from the Cloister of Trials, people made the sign of prayer to LT, and we congregated outside, in the village square. Barku got me in a headlock and pulled me over.
"Wait til ya see this!" he shouted. He then looked at LT.
"Ready!" he called out.
We watched as LT brought his staff and waved it around. An aura of energy surrounded him, and something great came shooting down towards us from out of the sky. LT walked over and petted it.
"LT...name it." Callan whispered.
"Right. How about....Bongadinga!" LT asked. Callan shook his head.
"Oh um...how about...Zeus?" he asked.
"Will do." Callan said.
That night, after the Aurochs and I rabble-roused a bit, I walked over to LT, who was drinking some kind of tea.
"You heathen!" an old man shouted at me as I approached.
"Stay away from the summoner!" an old woman said.
"You're a bad man!" a little kid yelled.
"It's my fault, really." LT said, standing up, he walked over.
"Hey bro, I'm LT. Thanks for helping earlier." LT said.
"I'm Tedrick. Sorry about that. I didn't obey their damn precepts." I muttered. "Nice aeon though."
"Think I can make high summoner, dude?" he asked.
"Well, I gotta go. That little kid wants to play with me or look at my afro or something. See you tomorrow." LT said.
"What?" I asked.
"We're going on the same boat, aight? We can chill some more, Ted."
"Oh, right! See you later LT!"
That night, I found myself lost in a dream.
I was sitting on the dock at Besaid. LT was on the dock near me. I ran to see him.
"Where's the boat?" I asked.
"I dunno bro. Maybe we could ride Sin to Luca." LT suggested.
"Yeah. Sounds good." I murmured. "Wait...you sure we won't die or something?"
"That is against the precepts!" the old priest yelled at us.
A brown-haired figure clambered on the dock. It was Cookie, the half Al Bhed boy that I'd met on the salvage ship.
"Yeah! We'll be fine!" Cookie said. Some girls walked on the dock.
"Take us to Zanarkand, Ted!" they yelled.
"Uhh..." I said.
"HEY! Stop dreaming!" a voice yelled. It was...Jecht. My father. He was standing on the beach, sneering at me.
"You, with women? You can't even catch a ball!" he jeered, smirking.
I was a boy again, covering my face so he couldn't see me crying. I was filling with anger, with rage, with whatever negative emotions I could harbor in me at once.
"Gonna cry again? Cry, cry. That's the only thing you're good for!" he sneered.
"I hate you." I muttered.
"Huh? What'd you say?" Jecht asked.
"You gotta speak up, bro." LT said.
"I hate you!" I yelled at Jecht.
"That's the spirit, man!" Cookie cheered.
"You can do it bro!" LT yelled.
"I hate you!" I yelled, sitting up in bed. It was then that I realized it was night, and that I had only been dreaming. I looked around, feeling rather foolish. I could hear Callan talking, and being awake as late as I was, decided I had nothing better to do than see what he was talking about. Sure eavesdropping was wrong, but it's not like anyone saw me anyways.
"Why did you even bring him here? I know he looked like your brother...but he isn't." Callan snapped.
"Yeah but...he needed our help." Barku tried reasoning.
"Enough excuses." Callan said. He got up and strode away. Barku walked right into the Crusader's Lodge, where we had been staying.
"Your...brother?" I asked.
"Rylan. He looked a lot like you." Barku said.
"He's dead?" I asked. I followed Barku to our beds.
"He was with the Crusaders when they fought Sin last year. He didn't make it. I heard on the day of the tournament." Barku said.
"Oh...so that's what you were thinking about." I said slowly.
"I became a guardian to fight Sin." Barku confided.
"Revenge, then?" I asked.
"That was the idea. But now I'm more worried about a stupid game than avenging my brother." Barku mumbled. "After the next tournament, I'll be guardian full time. I know it looks like I'm using you...but I'm not." he added.
"It's okay. I owe you a lot. You really helped me out." I said. "Thanks Barku."
"Hehe, shut up and go to bed, mate." he said, and we grinned at each other before going to sleep.