Part 17Update 17: Director Rosch Vows to Personally End Pulse Menace (Polsy)
To Hunt L'Cie
The Capital of Commerce
With events spiraling out of control, the Sanctum army mobilizes all of its forces under its command in an attempt to apprehend the Pulse l'Cie thereby preventing Cocoon from descending into chaos. Prioritizing its mission over its reputation, PSICOM accordingly enlists the aid of the Guardian Corps soldiers.
Under the general command of Colonel Rosch, units of troops occupy positions across Palumpolum in anticipation of a l'Cie attack.
Originally planning to take the Eden-bound train from inside the city, Lightning is now having second thoughts. She can't help but feel concern when she sees the rage-fueled Hope throwing himself into battle. It doesn't help that it was Lightning herself who inadvertently encouraged him to concentrate on his goal of revenge in the first place.
And that goal is what drives him now. He must complete Operation Nora, and make Snow and the Sanctum pay for the death of his mother. But who can say how much time remains for a l'Cie who ignores his Focus?
Ignorant of her worries, Hope leads Lightning to an underground complex that will allow them to sneak past the Guardian Corps troops and into the city.
Under Their Noses
Under the command of Colonel Rosch, PSICOM and the Guardian Corps occupy positions across Palumpolum in anticipation of a l'Cie attack.
In order to avoid the increased security, Lightning and Hope travel through an underground complex that reaches far beneath the city. If they can enter the town undetected, they should be able to find a way to reach Eden the capital that lies at the heart of Cocoon.
Hope hurries onwards, eager to continue Operation Nora, and exact revenge on Snow and the Sanctum.
Yet l'Cie who fail to complete their Focus become Cie'th. It's uncertain when the exact moment of transformation will come, but time is not on their side. Even though there may be no light at the end of the tunnel, they have no choice but to keep trudging along in the dark.
Hope's grim determination is a source of pain for Lightning. Her attempt at giving him a reason to survive has backfired, fanning the flames of his hatred and setting him on the path to a deadly confrontation.
He is her responsibility. She has to protect him.
No Way to Live
The Sanctum fal'Cie treat the people of Cocoon like pets. Upon realizing this fact, Lightning comes to understand herself. Since the moment she was born, she was raised under fal'Cie care. Sheltered and protected, she never realized how much she depended on them. But after becoming a Pulse l'Cie, she is removed from that protection.
And like a child separated from her mother, she wanders in confusion and doubt. Added to the anxiety of being a fugitive, the grief of losing Serah, and her rage at an unjust fate, Lightning finds herself on the brink of blackest despair.
It is all so clear now. Thinking of a future without hope would be too much to bear, so she made the Sanctum her enemy and sought to lose herself in mindless combat. But it was all just a way to avoid facing reality.
And now she's got Hope doing the same.
If he loses himself in revenge, he may gain temporary respite from the horror of his predicament but it will solve nothing.
Overcome by guilt, Lightning tells Hope to abandon Operation Nora, much to the boy's disbelief. If he gives up on revenge, what else is there to live for?
The two l'Cie have much to think about...
People: Yaag Rosch
Yaag Rosch is a PSICOM officer who graduated with results second only to his fellow trainee, Jihl Nabaat.
After proving his leadership in joint missions with the Guardian Corps, his extensive battle experience earned him an early promotion to the rank of colonel.
Assigned command of the anti-l'Cie operations in Palumpolum, Rosch ignores branch rivalries when he requests Guardian Corps cooperation. His only concern is maximizing their efforts to eliminate the l'Cie.
Hope's hometown, Palumpolum is one of the biggest cities in Cocoon. Retail stores line the streets - a rarity in a society where online purchases are the norm.
With the goal of promoting their 'hands-on' approach to commerce as a tourist attraction, the local government actively encourages businesses to set up shop in Palumpolum.
The Fal'Cie: Carbuncle
Carbuncle is a Sanctum fal'Cie charged with food production. Stationed in Palumpolum's subterranean nutriculture complex, this fal'Cie oversees a process of ultra-efficient hydroponic farming employing mobile paddies and careful regulation of light and water.
A parallel process within the facility generates raw protein to supplement the vegetable foodstuffs produced.