Author's Notes: Well, here it is, my brightest and best story… I've read over it so far and it's both dark and suspenseful and totally worth it! Okay… Just sit back and read! And enjoy the unexpected hero. I NEED reviews. If you read it, review it. I need all the encouragement that I can get.
Note: Jan 8, 2006: Editted the problem caused by not letting you hit enter to leave spaces between stuff. Flows better now.
Chapter 1: And So It Begins
"Shit!" I hissed as a wail erupted from the busted surveillance-bot. That damn siren would draw my tormenters right here.
"Surrender!" a familiar voice demanded, "You're surrounded! You can't escape!"
With Hyperion in hand I turned to confront the person. Clad in her Black SeeD uniform and with her whip in hand Quistus really looked as bad as she was. Quickly my eyes dart to the other end of the street where the equally dark "messenger girl" Selphie stood. Compared to them I stick out like a sore thumb in these dark streets. Then again my White SeeD uniform alone could be the thing to save my life. So before my former friends have the chance to finally have my head I ditch them for a side alley.
My feet carry me with great speed, first through the city, then from it. Finally they deliver me into a rather empty area outside of Timber. Knowing that I must outlast the two females and find shelter for the night I risk heading toward one of the few places I feel welcome. It's rather hard to feel welcome when you're a ten year fugitive from the 'law', have a 20 million gil bounty on your head and are a White SeeD.
When I reach the bridge I am panting, hardly able to remain standing. Even after all of these years I still do foolish things, but today was by far the worst. Casting a worried glance over my shoulder, I scan for Quistus and Selphie on the horizon. There is still a half a mile to go before I can find rest for the night. In the morning I'll have to make Esthar and catch a holoboat to the Centra lands. Only then will I be safe.
The heavens then seem to part with a loud bang, and I am cursed and saved all in one moment. The bullet, probably Irvine's work, passed cleanly through my leg, ruining my favorite uniform with blood. Now aware that a sniper is on my tail I get close to the ground, allowing the falling rain to clean away the blood. After a minor cure spell (I can't afford to use Curagas right now) I rip the white headband from my head and tie it tight around my leg above the shot. No, I swear, tonight will not be the night. Tonight they'll only get one of Seifer Almasy's many disposable hideouts. They won't have the White Night to please their mistress with. No… She'll have to wait until I decide it's time, till I'm ready to face her and the part of my past that stands by her side…
"Seifer!" the SeeD cheers as I reach the door and lock it.
"No time. Get the hologenerator up! They don't have trackers, just three MidKnights," I growl at the young SeeD recruit.
I can understand her shock at my presence. I haven't graced the White SeeD hideout here on the bridge to Esthar in many years, but my pursuit by the MidKnights, otherwise known as the orphanage bunch, had forced me to do this.
"Yes Sir!" she salutes and locks the door. Others that heard me have already set about raising the shields and holograms that hide this place from the Black SeeDs.
"Come on you stubborn moron, let's get that leg fixed up before you get blood all over the place. You can explain why you're gracing us with your presence later. And I won't take no as an answer!"
When I look up from the work a young Seed is doing, my eyes meet those of another fugitive that lives out his fate much like I do. His brown eyes are hard and cold, worse than Squall's had ever been, but I guess that happens when you've survived what he has. The brunette wraps an arm around my waist and I throw an arm around his neck. Even though he's shorter than I am, the support he gives is enough. With his help I make my way towards the infirmary area. Once he helps me up onto an examining table I glance back over my shoulder to look at the trail of red stains on the floor. Those little things would be enough to have everyone here slain, SeeD or not. Then again, his presence here would do the same thing.
"Here Seifer, lay back," the man instructed me as he rummaged through the cabinets.
"What happened to Doc K?"
"Captured…" He growled as he moved to my side, a silver vial in hand.
"SHIT MAN!" I shouted as I noticed what he held, "You are NOT going to waste one of your few elixirs on me!"
"Don't worry, shesh… I've finally got Haggle and Familiar on Tonberry. I can get some more… And there is no one that needs it more than you."
"There are kids here that are hurt far worse than this gunshot!" I argued in vain.
"And every one of them would insist that you use this. To them you're a hero."
"Hero? I've been on the run for over 10 years… You have too!"
"So what? Who cares if they even trust me? Hell, it was at your hands that most of their parents and family died during the war, but not they strive to be like you. Face it; you are now what Squall was."
"Don't deny it Seifer… Once Squall was the only one we could rely on, now it's you…"
Before I could debate with him any further a siren went off and all was lost in chaos. Someone shouted a single word, "Trackers" and then screamed out in pain. Even without the word I would have known the roar of the creature after my blood.
"Seifer…" the other fugitive SeeD growled and forced the elixir into my hands, "More will die if you don't help us."
The man turned away and rushed toward the noise, pulling a long, silver staff from its place at his back. The weapon was like what Raijin once carried, except for the one key difference. His thumb slipped over the safety button and a blade slipped from either end. Unlike Raijin, the man was agile and cunning enough for the dangerous blade, and could easily behead a creature.
Knowing he was going to help the young SeeDs protect me, I make up my mind and pour the elixir on my wound to heal it faster. Just in time I am on my feet, as a large tracker has stuck its ugly head in the infirmary. Blood drips from the fangs of the lean, black behemoth. While it's my blood the creature is after, it has stopped to feed. On paws too small for its large body, the tracker moves toward me. Strong claws of steel cut into the metal floor of the White SeeD hide out, clenching and unclenching in anticipation of sinking into my flesh. When the tracker lunges forward, I grab Hyperion and swing it in a wide arc over my head, slicing cleanly through the neck and thick fur. Of course killing one would not save us. Leaving the carcass of the creature where it laid, I cleaned my gunblade and walked cautiously out into the melee.
At my feet lays the mangled body of a young girl, probably the one killed by the beast that had come for me. Ignoring the tears in my eyes, I plunge into the nearest fight and hack at the black trackers with revenge on the mind. Before the fact registers, I'm completely circled by the remaining beasts. Rage consumes me as I attack them, first disemboweling one and then turning around to slash deep into the heart of another. While I fight, unaware of what I'm doing, the White SeeD leader joins me, his staff singing with every slash through the air.
"Seems that he's gotten stronger Quisty," the cheerful, albeit dark voice of Selphie announced.
The scattered White SeeDs parted as the Black SeeDs entered and strode up to us. Quistus's Save the Queen was in hand, but the end was tied tight around the neck of a young SeeD cadet. Contrary to my earlier beliefs, it was not Irvine that completed this triad of my would be captors, but Zell, though with a rifle in his gloved hands. The tight black material they wore was completely dry, despite the fact that it was still pouring out and my own uniform was still soaked to the bone. All three stopped before me, weapons ready and capable of bringing about my painful death.
"Long time no see Seifer," Zell smirked as he taunted me.
"Ten years wasn't enough Chickenwuss," I shot back and shifted into a more casual stance, leaning my bloody Hyperion on my shoulder.
Before Zell could raise his gun to shoot me, Selphie stepped between us, "Now Zell, we're supposed to bring the fugitives back ALIVE! And look, it's a two for one deal!"
"Dream on," I hiss, quietly summoning a GF to prepare for my escape.
"Listen Seifer," Quistus finally spoke in that condescending tone of hers, "Come willingly and no one here will be hurt."
"Liar," my friend said, slashing at Quistus's whip, his metal blade slicing through the material and freeing the teen she had been choking, "You'll hurt them either way."
"You'll risk the lives of these KIDS to fight a battle you'll lose?" Zell laughed.
"Who said we will? You're the ones out numbered kiddies." Man… I haven't called them that in fifteen years.
"They are far too afraid to fight us," Selphie pointed out, "So we out number you."
"Wrong again," I smirked, my companion's face mirroring mine.
Several things happened at once: the three Black SeeDs lunged forward to attack; Siren and Doomtrain appeared, inflicting many status ailments (thank Hyne for blind, silence, sleep and stop) on the Black SeeDs; the White SeeDs scattered to gather up a few things they would need for fleeing; and I grabbed rope from a nearby cabinet. Carefully I tied my three former friends up and tossed their weapons far from their sleeping reach. When the fugitive that had been helping me returned to my side he was holding two full packs and shaking his head.
"What now?" I questioned sadly.
"The kids will be heading to other bases, training more… You and I are going out to Esthar."
"You're not coming with me," I growled.
"Like hell I'm not!" he shot back, "I was left out last time; this time I'm making a difference. It's time to do this Seifer; it's time to take her on. And you're not doing it without me!"
After a moment of thought I responded, "Damn you're reckless… I'm glad you're on my side Nida!"
"Come on, let's get moving. The farther away we are when these three wake up the better it is for the kids."