The Army Tags
Disclaimer: I don't own FF7 or it's characters. I just write stories about them.
Note: If this appears as a bunch of jumbled text instead of in nice straight paragraphs, just don't bother reading it... I'll trash it and try again at the HTML. The trouble I go through to get italics... x.x;;
The air in the dark room was dense and smoky from the fire outside, and Godo's stupid kid was crying because she couldn't breathe. I told her to shut up. Peering through a crack in the wall, I could barely discern the fighting men through all the flames. Which ones were Shinra soldiers, and which ones were from Wutai? I couldn't tell. Despite all the hate I held for the Shinra, despite the fact that they had killed so many people including that screaming child's mother and my best friend, the dark made them the same as our men.
I waited for what seemed like an eternity, and watched soldiers fall over and die, burning in the red-hot flames. Finally the Shinra army turned and departed, satisfied with the chaos they had set loose in our village. Yuffie tugged at the hem of my robe as I wondered if Godo was alive. Would he come back to her, or would I have to take care of this brat for the rest of my life? I sent her off to bed, in the nursery where Shake was already peacefully asleep, with strict orders not to go outside until they cleared away the corpses. As much as I hate that kid, no child should have to see those horrible sights. Sighing, I followed her into the nursery and fell asleep on the futon I had laid out there, my dreams weaving in and out of fires and wars and burning battlegrounds.
Yuffie ran down the path after Shake, her eyes shut tight. "I'm scared!" she yelled with amazing lungpower. "Gawd, this is gross!"
Shake turned back and waited for Yuffie to catch up. "But we have to escape! You don't want to be stuck in that house with that evil witch Chekhov all day, do you?"
Yuffie stopped a few feet down the path from Shake, panting. "I don't know, but I sure don't want to be out here with all the dead people!"
Shake snickered, then turned to face another corpse. Yuffie put her hands over her eyes, but Shake leaned closer in fascination. "Look... It has a set of army tags."
"Who cares! It's half burned! Run, or it'll eat you!" Yuffie turned away, with her hands still over her eyes.
"But... I've always wanted a set of army tags..." Shake hesitated for a moment, then reached for the tags. Yuffie screamed. Ignoring her, Shake quickly pulled the tags off and jumped back, then examined them more closely. "Gainsborough. Sector 5, Midgar. ID 50768. Cool." He clipped them around his own neck and proudly walked away.
Yuffie looked back at the corpse, her dark brown yet childish eyes flickering emotionally. After a few moments, she turned away and ran after Shake.
Aeris blinked, then jumped up out of her chair. She looked around, then ran downstairs to where Elmyra was cooking dinner. "...Mother?" she began. "Please don't cry."
Elmyra looked down at her, smiling. "Why, Aeris, I'm not crying. What's wrong?"
A slight frown crossed Aeris's face as she realized that Elmyra thought she was making some kind of joke. "Someone dear to you has just died. His spirit was coming to see you, but he already returned to the planet."
Elmyra continued to look at Aeris, a worried look on her face. She wondered what it was about this child... That sounded so ridiculous, but anyone could look into her emerald eyes and see that she was telling the truth. She was so mysterious. Dismissing the thought from her mind, she changed the subject. "Aeris, dinner will be ready in about an hour. Why don't you run along and play?"
Aeris looked troubled for a moment, then forced a smile. "Okay, Mom." She turned and walked out the door.
Instead of "running along and playing", as her mother had suggested, Aeris went to the abandoned church in the slums. She could have run over to a friend's house and gone to the train graveyard with them, but she wanted to be alone right now. Walking through the ornate doorway of the church, she sat down and looked at the flowers she had been raising.
I gazed at the flowers, wondering whether I should water them or not. My thoughts wandered, and before long I was having what you might call a "vision". I get them a lot. I don't really see anything... it's more like a feeling. Anyways, this one said that something was going on, far from here... a war? Could this be where my mom's husband died? I listened to the planet, and heard the screams of children, the crackle of flames. I closed my eyes, not wanting to know anymore, but the images persisted. There was a woman in a house, and two kids, one asleep and the other one awake and screaming her lungs out. I had a feeling that I would be close to her someday, although I wondered how this could be since this was happening far away. It's almost impossible to escape the slums of Midgar.
But the Planet's voice is never wrong. I suppose someday I will get out of here. We escaped from the lab, me and my mother, so I can definitely escape from Midgar, can't I? All you need is money, and then you can start a living in a nice place. I hear there's a quaint village not far from here. If I start out there, I can go and find these people that the Planet tells me about. I don't know anything about them, really... just that the Planet says our paths will cross someday. Three are in a mountain village now, although one of them is sleeping, one is in a mining settlement, one in a small town on a plain, one in a vast canyon, one near me in Midgar... and this one I sense right now, in an ancient town on an island, burning with the flames of war...
OtakuAstra's note: Pleez pleez say my HTML worked... Anyways, I decided to try a serious fic for once. That's about it. Review please?