I remember…

By: Theodore 'Blitz' Leung


Author's Note: This was the absolute first FanFic I ever wrote. I thought it was so bad that I decided never to post it ever again. However, a friend of mine gave me a letter, with the writing of a Natascha, a fan who really enjoyed reading this fic (which I completely forget was posted on my friend's site). As my friend puts it, 'fate works in strange ways'. So, here I am again, writing this fic, or rather, revamping/editing it, since it obviously needs a bit of work and all. Here goes… It's funny, this fic breaks the rule I believe in on chapter length of 3K-4K words. Strange…

My name is Derek. I think about how close we, no, the world was to death. The meteor hit our atmosphere three days ago, right over Midgar. I was a retired 3rd ranking SOLDIER, quitting three weeks before the meteor hit. If I stayed, I would be dead right now. I may look alive, staring outside within my residence at Kalm, but I'm dead on the inside. It happened one day; it made me resign from SOLDIER when it went on for the rest of the week - I just couldn't shake the feeling. The only other time I had a feeling like that was two weeks before my resignation…

* * * * * *

I was a guard at Shinra tower, about to go on guard detail until Hojo gave me priority message to come and guard the lab. I always hated the lab, it made me feel all jittery, having to watch Hojo mess up his specimens, as he called them; even if they were human.

I headed up to the lab. Much to my surprise, there was a pretty girl in his 'prison'. The prison was actually a medium-sized chamber with glass walls. I looked at her and she returned the gaze. Strangely, I felt like I knew her. It was like we had a telepathic link, but I knew that couldn't be possible - I had never seen her before; yet, some nagging feeling at the back of my head thought otherwise. It gave me the impression we met a long time ago.

I scanned around the chamber and found no other SOLDIER members or Shinra guards. It was strange, there are usually two guards for these kinds of situations. I guess Hojo thought one would be sufficient to take care of this particular 'specimen'.

"Who are you?" I heard inside my head. I turned towards the girl in a strange panic, but that would have been impossible. Shaking the feeling off, I returned my gaze towards Hojo, who was starting to mess with some buttons. I knew the procedure. This would activate some sort of restraining device that would keep the 'specimen' in place. Powerful clamps held down the girl's body, but I felt I was being restrained as well. My initial guess was I didn't like to see this girl get tortured; however, when Hojo the used a manipulator to poke a needle through her arm, I felt a sting on my arm.

"This is crazy!" I thought, trying to shake off the feeling while remaining a diligent guard.

* * * * * *

One hour passed of this 'testing' but it seemed like an eternity. Everything that was happening to the girl seemed to be happening to me. It was mind raking, to say the least.

"You are free to go," Hojo told me. I was relieved to know I could finally get out of there, but something told me I should go back. I returned to my quarters, on the 55th floor of this huge tower. Turning on my computer, I began to look up some information about Hojo's latest 'specimen'. As expected, the files had a LV. 8 lock, but I had my friend's ID card. His name was Zack, SOLDIER 1st, and he lent me this card to let me in on some of Shinra's secrets. Last I heard, he went on to a mission to Nibelheim but never came back. I hope he is okay. Well, this ID can get past anything LV. 9 down, so, here I go.

Name: Aeris Gainsborough

Blood Type: O

Age: 22

Specimen #: 16

Reason of Capture: Cetra

What the hell is a Cetra and why does that name sound so familiar? I tried to look it up, but you need a LV. 15 clearance, which is the very top. More info on Aeris would need a LV. 11 up. This must be real important and that girl is very special, and knowing that only made me more curious. After a bit of thought, I took an extra night shift by myself to guard her.

* * * * * *

That night, I exited the elevator that took me to the lab, breathing a soft sigh, knowing I was getting myself into something. When I entered, Aeris turned her head towards me. I relieved the guard who was on duty and he made a big yawn. That was expected, it was 2:00 in the morning after all. I picked this time because Aeris and I would be able to talk without anyone knowing it. I got a brief nap beforehand, so I was good until 8:00 in the morning.

For the first thirty minutes we just stared at each other. Aeris was sitting beside the glass wall farthest from me, knees pulled up to her chest, watching my intently, as I watched her in return.

"Who are you?" I heard again. I tld this 'thought' my name. Aeris seemed to be able to hear, even though the glass made talking to each other impossible without the intercoms. which were currently inactive.

"Do I know you?" it asked next

"No," I responded.

"Why are you here?"

"I want to talk to Aeris."

"You are."

"What!" That's when it hit me. She can talk to me through her mind, but how? Is it some trait these Cetra have? Can they read minds?

"I can, but only with you."

"I understand," I replied, but the truth is, I didn't.

"You don't understand, and neither do I," Aeris returned plainly.

We eventually ended up talking all morning about jokes and funny stuff until Hojo came in the room at 8:30 in the morning. No one relieved me of duty though. The doctor looked at me and saw a small smile, then turned towards the subject, seeing a similar smile. He began to look at me, then her, then me, then her, for five times before he shrugged it off and got to work. Every time Aeris got poked or picked at, I could feel it a little bit. I just wanted to get Aeris out of there right now.

Over the course of the next few days, Hojo ordered to me continue watching over the lab. However, I didn't mind, as I kept asking for the night security watch for the lab everyday.

One day I actually had the nerve to open the prison and let Aeris sit beside me. We talked small talk for little bit then she asked me how old I was.

"22," I said truthfully, which she understood was the truth.

"Why did you join?" she continued to question.

"It's a long story, but we have all night, I guess…"

With those words, I started my tale…