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YumemiruMayuAkatsukiNiOtsu-ffxiiiuo

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Final Fantasy XIII Gaiden Shōsetsu: Yumemiru Mayu, Akatsuki ni Otsu (ファイナルファンタジーXIII 外伝小説 夢見る繭、暁に墜つ, Fainaru Fantajī Sātīn Gaiden Shōsetsu: Yumemiru Mayu, Akatsuki ni Otsu?), commonly known to fans as Final Fantasy XIII Side Story: A Dreaming Cocoon Falls into the Dawn, is a multi-chaptered novella in the Final Fantasy XIII Ultimania Omega written by Benny Matsuyama. It features stories of the experiences of a number of individuals in Cocoon beginning with the announcement of the Purge and happening parallel with the journey of the Pulse l'Cie.

CharactersEdit

  • Aoede - an aspiring journalist with some experience as a regional video news reporter who wants to make a compelling report of her own and boost her career.
  • René - a somewhat arrogant 17-year-old girl with shoulder-length pale blonde hair and an adult-like appearance. She's a prodigy attending the university in Eden forced to go on the run after unwittingly attracting the ire of the fal'Cie.
  • Cielo - a young air freight pilot who admires Sazh Katzroy.
  • NORA - a neighborhood watch group from Bodhum turned vigilantes against the Sanctum.

StoryEdit

Spoiler warning: Plot and/or ending details follow. (Skip section)

The Price for Pursuing the TruthEdit

How... How could this be―
—Aoede, realizing the truth behind the Purge
Bodhum Station

Citizens and tourists are herded onto a Purge train.

Aoede feels the news in Cocoon is never questioned, so she is waiting for the chance to capture footage for a report of her own that would invite criticism and allow people to make their own judgments. Her chance comes when the Sanctum announces the discovery of a Pulse fal'Cie within a vestige located in Bodhum, and initiates the Purge to remove anyone who may have been "tainted."

Contrary to the rest of Cocoon, Aoede questions everything about the Purge and doesn't believe it to be a forced migration to Pulse as the Sanctum proclaims. Making her way to the outer perimeter of the blockades placed around Bodhum, Aoede gathers bits of information that support her skepticism, such as members of the Sanctum, military, and their families being exempt from the Purge, and that tens of thousands of traceable restraint garments were made for the Purgees to wear seemingly before the Sanctum's announcement. Aoede theorizes that the Purge is an elaborate ploy to instill more fear of Gran Pulse into the populace and maintain control over Cocoon. Believing that no one would be Purged, she fits herself with hidden cameras, sneaks into Bodhum, and boards a Purge train, hoping to make a documentary that would boost her reputation as a reporter and make her Cocoon's first true journalist.

The Purge

PSICOM engages against the Purgees.

Onboard the Purge train, Aoede secretly records the anger, fear, and despair of the Purgees, thinking to herself how stupid they are for believing in the Purge and fearing it. When the train comes to a halt in the Hanging Edge, Aoede discovers her hunch about the Purge was right, but also discovers the gruesome truth as chaos unfolds around her. An explosion sounds in the distance, the Purgees revolt against the PSICOM soldiers, taking their weapons and escaping. After removing her Purge clothing, Aoede leaves the train and steps onto a skybridge, seeing the Hanging Edge turned into a warzone. She witnesses Sanctum airships directing their gunfire at the rebelling Purgees, realizing the Sanctum never intended to exile them from Cocoon, and that the Purge was a way to cover up their plot to take the supposedly tainted civilians to the restricted area and enact a concealed genocide. Realizing her foolishness for plunging into the situation and overwhelmed with shame for getting caught up in the idea of true journalism and her contempt toward the Purgees on the train, Aoede can only stand in a daze and watch the carnage unfold around her.

Palamecia Pulse Vestige

The Palamecia brings the Pulse Vestige into the Hanging Edge.

An attack vessel locks on to her but she is moved out of the way before the pilot fires and she escapes with her saviors, the members of NORA. Amid their flight, Aoede sees the Pulse Vestige suspended beneath the Sanctum Skyfleet airship, the Palamecia. Aoede focuses her camera on the Vestige and records that NORA's leader Snow Villiers is heading towards it. With her will to live restored by Lebreau's confidence, Aoede asks NORA to let her go with them and vows to record everything that happens. Even if she sacrifices herself in the name of journalism, there is the chance her footage will get circulated and serve to shatter the public's blind faith in the Sanctum.

Aoede realizes that the Sanctum knows they cannot hide the truth about the Purge, and Galenth Dysley and the other leaders accept taking a blow strong enough to overturn their authority whether or not they succeed in strengthening the public's fear of Pulse. Aoede believes the Purge to be but the beginning of a huge conspiracy, one in which even more people will die, something that would make the Purge pale in comparison. Guided by NORA, Aoede and other surviving Purgees escape the battlefield and take refuge in a crevice in the ground.

Messengers of the PurgeEdit

To the fal’Cie―To the fal’Cie, human lives meant little. They had allowed humans to propagate over several hundreds of years―because they had some purpose for their increased numbers…?
—René develops theories on the fal'Cie

Ever since losing her parents at a young age and growing up in a Sanctum-run orphanage, René has been considered a genius, skipping several grades, finishing middle school in a year and a half, and high school in just over a year. At the age of 16, she passed the entrance exam for Eden's most prestigious institution and was offered numerous Sanctum scholarships. René is a realist who considers dreaming of fantasies and believing in miracles to be "the height of stupidity." Since childhood, she has seen herself as superior to others as no one has been able to match her intelligence, and thus she sought to escape the orphanage in her hometown of Bodhum. René aspires to join the Sanctum and rise to a position that would allow her to participate in government operations and apply her vast knowledge of Antimatter Manipulation Principle technology.

Inside the library reading room, René taps away at the keyboard on the glass screen of a terminal as closing time and evening approach. While she applies for clearance to view documents on AMP models and is granted permission to enter the upper level where they're stored, she strangely becomes nostalgic about Bodhum. The announcement for the town's Purge has been made and René worries about her childhood friends and a junior school classmate she knew from the orphanage, but she tries to distract herself by working. She continues developing theories and unconsciously types them in an open text file on the terminal, theorizing the fal'Cie don't care for human lives and allowed the population to grow to fulfill a goal that requires the loss of lives on a grand scale, and in the near future, humanity would be betrayed by their fal'Cie protectors. When she comes to her senses and stops typing, a message flashes on the console, directing her to the upper levels. She descends the hallway and calls for the elevator when she realizes she forgot her ID card on the console panel.

When René returns to the reading room, she is the only one there. A metallic statue appears before her and declares its purpose to eliminate her. René realizes that since Cocoon's network terminals are under fal'Cie control, they read her theories and sent a report to a high-ranking fal'Cie that someone there possessed dangerous thoughts. René's theories are too close to the truth so the steel statue fal'Cie was sent to exterminate everyone believed to have read them. The fal'Cie opens its chest cavity, revealing the gears it used to kill the people in the room, and advances towards René. The elevator arrives, providing René with a distraction. She shoves a stool into the fal'Cie's gears to stall it and bolts out the entrance doors.

Hanging Edge Destroyed

The Pulse fal'Cie's death destroys the Hanging Edge.

The evening is about to turn to dusk and René calls out for help to the few pedestrians still roaming the streets. A soldier belonging to the Homeguard, tasked with keeping order in Eden, tells them to go about their business so he can talk with René. She is about to tell the soldier everything when she hears a familiar sound of scratching gears coming from the soldier: another exterminator fal'Cie in disguise. René trembles with fear, too shocked to call anyone to her aid as the fal'Cie approaches her. Unbeknownst to René, at the same time, the Pulse fal'Cie Anima is defeated by a group of people within the Pulse Vestige in the Hanging Edge. The great energy wave it releases sweeps throughout Cocoon and disables the fal'Cie, including the exterminator fal'Cie, enabling René to escape through the streets into the night. Unable to return home, René resolves to survive and find somewhere to hide under the fal'Cie's radar.

Mixed SkiesEdit

You’ve got to be kidding me. I won’t make it on time. How are you gonna make up for that!?
—Cielo

Cielo has been grounded by an air-traffic controller right before takeoff, so he rests up in his airship's cockpit. Ever since Sazh, a fellow pilot, had gone on leave over a week ago, Cielo has been working overtime to pick up the slack. The flights Cielo pilots are being regulated and delayed ever since the Purge took place the other day. Worried that Sazh might have been swept up in it, Cielo dismisses the notion as Sazh had mentioned going to Euride Gorge with his son Dajh, and believes he would have heard of something happening to Sazh due to the news of an accident at the site.

Airship Phoenix

The Pulse l'Cie's airship flies close to the fal'Cie Phoenix.

Cielo is awakened from his daydream by a call from the control tower permitting him to take off. Now airborne, Cielo flies towards the destination of the packages, the city of Eden. He spots a speeding military aircraft that appears to leave from the remote area around Lake Bresha and receives an order to make an emergency stop. Unmanned PSICOM attack ships pursue an unknown airship, which Cielo surmises is being piloted by a person as he watches it outmaneuver the PSICOM ships by guiding them into the molten plasma of the fal'Cie Phoenix. He watches the spectacle from the edge of his seat, admiring the skills of the mystery pilot, and secretly cheers for those being chased by PSICOM. The airship is struck by approaching reinforcements and falls towards the Vile Peaks.

Undercover Stray CatsEdit

That guy really is awesome! Who would have thought that he would not only make it out of the Vestige alive but also become able to use magic!!
—Aoede, about Snow

After breaking through PSICOM's defenses, Aoede, NORA, and a portion of the surviving Purgees escape the Hanging Edge and hide inside a space in the "partitioning wall" that separated the Hanging Edge from its neighboring region, containing an ancient Pulsian building that was inserted between the layers of Cocoon's outer shell during its construction and a large vestige that "shouldn't" exist. It is a perfect place for the Purge survivors to lay low and wait out the army's search efforts. Gadot, a member of NORA, leads a combat team to ensure everyone's safety and food and supplies are sent through Lenora's Garage, a shop maintained by fellow member, Maqui.

Aoede continues to record everything as the footage could persuade the people of Cocoon to turn against the Sanctum and the fal'Cie. She believes NORA's way of life of refusing the fal'Cie's charity and looking after themselves would be the key to guide the people into a new era. Suspicions of a Sanctum conspiracy grow as everyone realizes the Pulse Vestige went uninvestigated for centuries, concluding that the Sanctum knew of Anima's existence and waited for the right moment to fake its discovery and set the Purge into motion.

Snow&Fang rescue

Snow and Fang save Lightning and Hope from PSICOM.

By hacking the Sanctum's information channels through his own network, Maqui taps into a live feed and projects a hologram of a broadcast from Palumpolum being captured by a military surveillance camera. The footage depicts a plaza turned into a warzone as a pillar of ice conjured by magic freezes everything, the sounds of gunfire and screams from confused soldiers, and a Pulse l'Cie that NORA recognizes as Snow. Now being a friend by association, Aoede considers the feelings of NORA seeing their leader as a l'Cie and considers if she should stop recording. Yuj's unexpected response causes Aoede's finger to slip from the stop button on her camera goggles. Having worried about Snow ever since the Pulse Vestige plummeted into Lake Bresha, the news of his survival brings relief to NORA. Aoede sees all that matters to them is that Snow is alive, not that he was made a l'Cie.

The footage from Palumpolum cuts off and NORA begins planning their next step as Snow's appearance was the sign they needed. From the footage, Aoede knows that Snow is going to take the fight directly to the Sanctum and NORA most likely wants to build a resistance movement to help him. As the Sanctum's troops are likely concentrated around Palumpolum, leaving holes in the security around the Hanging Edge, NORA and the refugees would be able to escape. Aoede decides to accompany NORA and capture more footage of their quest. After leaving some instructions with the remaining NORA members, they leave their shelter and set out for Eden.

Trap in the TabernacleEdit

I’ve gotta do this. Even if it seems impossible, I’ve gotta find a way――
—René vows to try and save Cocoon
Palamecia Flight

Sazh and Vanille are held captive on the Palamecia.

Around the time the remaining fugitive l'Cie storm their way into the Palamecia to rescue Sazh and Vanille, René has continued evading the fal'Cie by escaping through the network of maintenance tunnels beneath Eden. The maze has no surveillance cameras, therefore leaving the fal'Cie unable to pinpoint her location.

René discovers she has the gift for playing cat and mouse, not having realized her potential until now because, as a child at the orphanage, she would rather spend her time broadening her mind than partaking in childish games. The fal'Cie tasked with killing René has been after her ever since the events at the library. Now she can run from them while taking the time to observe its actions and gain an understanding of its abilities. From watching how the fal'Cie destroyed the stool she had shoved in its gears, René knows she can escape while keeping a distance from it. Noticing the fal'Cie's underdeveloped independent thinking ability, simple pursuit routine, and limited ambush patterns, René uses these periods to rest and eat some food that she swiped from a store before entering the tunnels. However, unlike her fal'Cie pursuer, René begins to tire.

FFXIII Eden Centre

The Pulse l'Cie escape the Palamecia and enter Eden.

There's the possibility of the purger fal'Cie calling for reinforcements if it fails to eliminate René within a certain timeframe. If multiple fal'Cie begin chasing René, she will be quickly hunted down. With no way to destroy the fal'Cie or trick it into thinking she's dead, René continues the game of cat and mouse. Having experienced moments of extreme drowsiness and fading in and out of consciousness, René digs her nails into her upper arms to keep herself awake as she watches the fal'Cie float around from her hiding place. At that moment, the l'Cie escape the Palamecia and enter the Fifth Ark via airship controlled by the fal'Cie Barthandelus. The vibrations from the transference shake the city but are too small for humans to detect. However, the purger fal'Cie deviates from its established pattern and speeds down a dead-end hallway.

René springs from her hiding spot and follows the fal'Cie that is pressing the device at the end of its arm against the wall and making a string of electronic sounds that René guesses to be a deactivation code. The wall parts, revealing a hidden corridor the fal'Cie charges down. Not believing it to be a trap, René, now more curious than anxious, follows the fal'Cie. Upon reaching the faintly glowing exit, René is rendered briefly speechless by the view: a vestige full of fearsome beasts, including Berserkers, Behemoths, and Adamantoises, frozen in time waiting to awaken. She recognizes the vestige as an Ark, but a different one from the Fifth Ark the l'Cie were transported to earlier. The purger fal'Cie mistook the earlier vibrations as René making noise and inadvertently led her to the Ark.

The sight of the secret Pulsian armory hidden in Eden's underbelly makes René break into a cold sweat as the chilling reality and her previous hypothesis overlap. She believes the hidden Ark to be the fal'Cie's doing, as nobody in the Sanctum could want to hide such a place beneath Cocoon's capital city. She theorizes the Ark will play a role in the fal'Cie's grand scheme as they will unleash the monsters contained within upon the populace. René screams for someone to help her and a man in Eden-style work clothes comes into view at the other end of the gigantic hallway, smiling at René to calm her down. He is a purger fal'Cie drawn to René by her screaming, disguised to catch her off guard. With its smile frozen like a death mask, the fal'Cie zooms towards René.

The purger fal'Cie is destroyed by Centaurion Blades summoned by a Berserker when it came within its detection range. Now back in its mechanical form, the fal'Cie's body is nearly split in two with blood-like oil pouring from it. Its arm rolls, the unlocking device detaches from its tip, and within lies a flickering crystal. René waits for the Berserker controlling the Centaurion Blades to move away and confirms the fal'Cie's "death".

Despite no longer being pursued, René can't feel relieved now knowing that Cocoon's citizens are at the fal'Cie's mercy to be sacrificed. Humans live as the fal'Cie's pets being raised like livestock to be used as offerings in a scenario centuries in the making. The Purge marked the beginning of the genocide, and if left alone, everyone will be wiped out. René, the selfish genius who formerly only cared about her own survival now had the survival of tens of millions resting on her shoulders. She stares at the purger fal'Cie's unlocking device and vows to find a way to stop the fal'Cie from sacrificing Cocoon's people, wishing for a miracle for the first time in her life.

Those Who Support the Falling CocoonEdit

Please let there be a miracle. Please let us stay alive. Please let as many of us survive this as possible.
—René

If the people were to see Cocoon in the same way as the gods who departed the world, the fal'Cie's scheme to kill everyone to bring back the Maker would have played out with everyone none the wiser. The cursed l'Cie that left for Pulse to find a way to change their fate would have played their role per Barthandelus's plan, as even the miracle they envisioned was a part of it.

Pulse Invasion of Eden

Eden Under Siege.

During the festival celebrating Cid Raines's appointment as the Sanctum's new Primarch in Eden, the l'Cie return from Gran Pulse and Eden falls into chaos. The Cavalry, an elite group of soldiers seeking to free the people from fal'Cie rule, see their leader, Raines, now acting as the voice of the fal'Cie as an act of betrayal. The Cavalry raises an army in response, unknowingly playing into the fal'Cie's hands. As the rebellion breaks out, monsters from Arks hidden in the city are released. Neither the Guardian Corps's Homeguard, nor PSICOM stationed in the city as a precaution against the l'Cie, are able to make a move against the mechanical soldiers that were made to combat the biological weapons that survived the process of natural selection that rules Gran Pulse. With the military divided, Eden descends into chaos.

After being forced to aid Barthandelus as a Sanctum l'Cie, Raines defied his Focus and turned to crystal. He was revived as Barthandelus's puppet, unable to exercise the free will he still possesses. Raines uses his remaining l'Cie powers to copy the cerebral structure of his former crystallized self into cyberspace to remain witness to the world's final moments. Now existing as a metaphysical entity, an illusion, and a living shell maintaining a consciousness based on his memories, Raines no longer desires to save Cocoon.

Ever since the purger fal'Cie was destroyed, René, now sporting slightly longer hair, has been doing everything she can to help prevent mankind's extinction. She knew it was pointless to announce the existence of the Ark and its monsters to the public and any noticeable act on her part would cause more purger fal'Cie to be sent after her before the information could reach the public. René guessed the fal'Cie seek to crash the city of Eden, make Cocoon's environment uninhabitable, and massacre everyone in one fell swoop, so she had to think of a plan to prevent that alone. It's believed that Eden is kept aloft by its namesake fal'Cie. René thought of using the gravity control devices made with AMP technology to soften the impact of Eden's fall. It would be impossible to completely absorb the mass but, by balancing the weight, the number of casualties could be reduced. Using an unlocking device, she spent weeks sneaking into vital parts of Eden to tamper with the systems while continuing to avoid the fal'Cie. She put in place a program to automatically activate the ideal gravitational settings, but to gain full control René needs a passcode kept by the Primarch. After making her preparations, she waited for the chance to infiltrate the office during the moment where chaos would send Cocoon into high alert.

Cavalry begins coup

Primarch Cid is killed as the Cavalry enters an all-out war against the Sanctum.

Her chance comes when the Cavalry's coup d'état and their retreat, as well as PSICOM's, leaving the Primarch's office loosely guarded. René sneaks in and hacks the Primarch's terminal. From within the artificial brain, Raines observes René and understands through her actions that she is trying to do what he failed to accomplish. Since hacking isn't her strong suit, the high level of security on the terminal nearly sends René into a panic when the passcode she needs suddenly appears on the screen. René backs away from the terminal and a synthesized voice tells her to use the final code for access to all of the city's functions. Thinking a fal'Cie has discovered her, René asks for the voice's identity, and it reveals itself to be the remaining echoes of a man who shared her ambitions but failed. Realizing a fal'Cie wouldn't do something like this, René returns to the terminal.

Raines asks if she knows the fal'Cie's plan, and René responds with humanity's genocide by dropping the city. Raines tells her that she is half wrong and reveals to her Barthandelus's plan to send all of Cocoon plummeting to Pulse upon the death of the fal'Cie Orphan, hidden in its cradle within the Edenhall Reliquary. He also explains there is no way to prevent it. The revelation shocks René as a city's worth of AMPs would be pointless. Additionally, as soon as Cocoon begins descending, the disturbance in its gravitational field would scramble the world's inner surface and many people would die in the process.

Sleep-deprived and struggling to stay on her feet, René begs Raines to tell her a way to save Cocoon. Her sincere pleas compel Raines to tell her that she will need to rely on other people to make a miracle to save Cocoon possible and leave the world's fate in the hands of the Pulse l'Cie. René remembers the earlier news footage of the l'Cie and their Eidolons. The fal'Cie Eden currently controls the gravity for all areas of Cocoon, so when the l'Cie infiltrate the Reliquary, the fal'Cie will have to expend a lot of energy to build out the virtual space of Orphan's Cradle, presenting the perfect chance to take control of the entire gravity system. Then René can implement the automatic control system she designed to stabilize all areas and the evacuation points near the control facilities won't suffer from severe shaking once Cocoon begins falling.

Raines alerts René about the footage being broadcast throughout Cocoon. A portion of the terminal display shows René a documentary with shocking images and details depicting the Hanging Edge massacre. The reporter, whom René recognizes, addresses the public, revealing the truth about the Purge, how the fal'Cie ordered it as they seek to eradicate everyone, and that the Pulse l'Cie are trying to save them. Noting the impressive hacking skills being used managing to bypass the fal'Cie that controls the airwaves, René has Raines monitor its progress and as the control code numbers on-screen rapidly change, the pattern feels familiar to René. She unconsciously enters the next code in the pattern and contacts the hacker, whose face appears on the monitor through a cross-connected feed. It is Maqui, whom René recognizes from junior school and who in turn recognizes René. She gives Maqui a rundown of the current situation and sends him a text file containing instructions for her control program along with the passcode from Raines.

Rosch's Last Order

Lieutenant Rosch gives his final order to all soldiers in Eden.

She tells Maqui to inform everyone to find shelter at the nearest gravity control facility. NORA's illegal broadcast garners unchallenged support from the public and the army for the group as well as the l'Cie. PSICOM director, Lieutenant Yaag Rosch, suspends all l'Cie hunting operations and orders everyone to focus on evacuating civilians. Rosch's final order is incorporated into NORA's illegal broadcast, and everyone, ranging from the stubborn skeptics to the Sanctum's forces, begins taking steps to ensure their survival and trusting the Pulse l'Cie to make a miracle happen.

The l'Cie reach the Edenhall Reliquary and the fal'Cie Eden uses all its power to manifest Orphan's Cradle. With network security at its weakest, Maqui disables all safeguards, hacks into the gravity control system, and begins installing René's program, giving them full control. Bodhum has been removed from the network by the fal'Cie since the town was emptied by the Purge, and nearly a thousand people, including NORA's allies and the Purge survivors, are now hiding out there. Maqui can't get Bodhum back on the network, so René resolves to go there, use the universal unlocking device to open the facility and install her program directly. René leaves the rest to Maqui, tells him to continue preparations, and to wait for Snow to pull off his miracle.

René hears another familiar voice come through a voice-only transmission—Lebreau, who's been like a big sister to René since she was a child. Lebreau invites René to hang out with NORA and see how her cooking skills have improved when everything is over since Gadot, Yuj, and Snow have worried about her ever since she left the orphanage. Hearing Lebreau and talking to her old friends, a teary-eyed René promises to be there. Raines says it's all he can do and the rest is up to René. She assures that he can count on her and asks him to watch over her and the others like the Cavalry does. Raines says he is the one who should thank René and tells her to go save Cocoon. René speeds out of the office and doesn't look back. With his will now passed on to a new torchbearer, Raines smiles from within the artificial world.

As soon as René exits the Sanctum building, Cielo calls out to her while piloting a small military airship. He tells her to get in since they're the only ones left in the area. René boards and yells at him to go to Bodhum so she can activate the gravity controls and save the people there. Cielo takes off and René feels as though their meeting is a form of a miracle. She apologizes for getting him involved with her dangerous mission, but Cielo has been waiting for the chance to do something. He flies into Bodhum airspace and lands at the gravity control facility, which already has evacuees nearby, having been led there by NORA's members. Cielo asks René if they can have another "date in the skies" if they survive, but she probably could not hear him as she jumps out of the cockpit without hesitation. She races to the facility, opening it with her unlocking device, and dashes for the control room.

Cocoon-Falls-FFXIII

Cocoon falls toward Gran Pulse.

René begins to install her program when a powerful tremor is felt throughout Cocoon with the fal'Cie Eden's death and the world begins falling. The cities' evacuation areas escape the adverse effects of the acceleration with the AMP tech at its maximum output. However, in parts of the cities not subjected to gravitational control, buildings crumble as if bombed and roads ripple like waves, seas gush, and mountains come apart and fall towards the sky. Then a torrid wind blows throughout Cocoon. René closes her eyes and she and the rest of Cocoon pray to be saved by a miracle. Her vision turns white, she falls unconscious, and the world goes dark.

PSICOM evacuates citizens

Soldiers bring down survivors from the fallen Cocoon.

Feeling a gentle breeze on her face, she is woken up by a voice and finds herself laying on thick grass. She is awestruck by the sight of Cocoon suspended by a giant crystal pillar, realizing that it stopped Cocoon from crashing onto Gran Pulse, a world that she sees is not the hellscape it was believed to be. Meanwhile, the military helps people descend and settle. Wearing camera goggles and holding a microphone, Aoede calls out to René. Planning to make a documentary, the journalist asks how René is after saving the people of Cocoon. René demands her to stop filming since she hasn't been able to shower for weeks.

Now realizing she survived her ordeal and embarrassed for throwing a fit over her appearance, René sits down and starts laughing, satisfying Aoede with her 'answer' to her question. Aoede calls the crystal pillar a miracle made by René and the l'Cie. René asks what will happen now, to which Aoede says the essentials inside Cocoon should last a while. She says everyone won't be living the easy lives they had under the fal'Cie, but René says that's fine since it's how mankind should be living. To René's annoyance, Aoede has been recording the whole time.

CrystalizedCocoon

Cocoon is supported above Gran Pulse by a crystal pillar.

Cielo calls her from overhead as he pilots his airship and dodges any Pulsian creatures that get close. Aoede reveals Cielo was the one who flew René out of Cocoon and waited for her to wake up but got restless and left before Aoede arrived. Aoede informs René that Cielo will later re-extend his invitation before bidding farewell and running over to where NORA and others are setting up camp to get more footage. Realizing that Aoede stayed with her and waited for her to process her whole ordeal, René understands she can no longer go on alone and mankind will now have to form stronger bonds with each other to survive. Looking at the crystallized Cocoon, René wonders if Raines saw everything before passing on, but likes to believe he got a happy ending. Telling Cielo that she did hear him earlier, René accepts his offer for a date and tells him to pick her up. While he lowers his airship towards her, René feels free from her sorrows as this day marks the rebirth of humanity as people begin new lives on their own terms on Gran Pulse.

Spoilers end here.

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