Final Fantasy VIII: Heavenly Scent
I n t r o d u c t i o n : R a i n


Only one thing covered the sprawling metropolis of Esthar. Rain poured down on the
sparkling streets, depositing the water everywhere. Commerce, as always, ignored the weather.
Families crowded at the various mega-malls to spend their hard-earned gil. Some people didn't
have that luxury.

Below the glamorous streets lurked a place most visitors never went, let alone knew about.
The slums in the sub-levels of Esthar were a places people went to disappear, and not many had
come out. The rain made a mess of the already waste-filled terrain. If you made your home
below level 5, you were poor, and doing a bad job of trying to get out.

One in particular could be caught taking a swig out of a bottle of 90 proof whenever he could
scrounge enough money to buy one. Only in his early twenties and scavenging. His family? As
far as he was concerned he had none. He sat beside a battered sword, worn from overuse. His
features a bit cleaner than you'd expect from a homeless drunk. That showed that he was
resourceful.

In the day he was a drunkard, but in the night he was a bodyguard-for-hire. The rain
completely drenched him, and he wrapped himself tightly in his long coat. Here lay the broken
down shell of what used to be a man, but was his fate to change?

A series of splashing sounds, most likely caused by footsteps neared the bum. They halted
some feet away from him. A gruff voice attempted to communicate. "Are you Tsushima
Masaki?"

The drunk didn't even look up, he only slurred "Wh-Whatuv'im?"

The unidentified person though a package next to Tsushima. "Special delivery from Garden."
was all the man said, and then he disappeared.

The man known as Tsushima dropped the bottle and with trembling hands, fumbled to pick up
the package.


The Following Month


A strong strike, and it was over. The man planted his weapon in the ground, taking the time to
rest. Another man watched from a booth "You've recovered vell." he commented in his
unmistakable accent. "Ve believe zhat you vill be completely rehabilitated soon. Zhe drugs
ve've administered vill lessen zhe effects of you're vithdrawal. In only a matter of months, you
vill be almost completely cured of your addiction. Vonderful vhat Odine can do, ya?"

The man standing in the training center ignored the eccentric doctor's ramblings. His eyes
were a faded blue. The type of eyes you'd expect to see a man who had given up on life to have.
But for some reason he was here. He couldn't smile, not yet. He only stood as a statue until the
doctor's voice came through the intercom. "Alright, you've got one more monster, zhen ve'll call
it a day, ya?"

No sooner did Dr. Odine finish when an Ochu appeared and ambushed the man with the
sword. Tsushima promptly evaded a tentacle attack and countered with a downwards strike. The
effects of the strike would take place soon. In no time, the enemy remained in its position,
unconscious. Tsushima cast Haste on himself and then attacked the Ochu before it could
awaken.
His first blow brought the Ochu back to consciousness, but it was too late. The killing blow had
been delivered, and the monster slumped to the ground.

"Flawless, you are truly in good condition. I vish you luck on your assignment."

Tsushima hoisted the sword onto his right shoulder and walked towards the exit. This would
be his last day in Esthar. Why did it have to rain?