A/N: My first Anderson(g) POV fic...don't hurt me too much, I can't grow back limbs.
Disclaimer: I don't own Anderson or any other characters here...I'm a Methodist.
The voice just keeps echoing in my head.
Then what does that make you?
What does that make you...what are you?
What am I?
I can't be human...not with the blood I've spilt out of bloodlust.
I'm not a monster...I can't be. I won't be...
Oh God, give me some answer.
The orphanage is quiet at this time of night, with all the children tucked away safe in their beds. I'm in mine, which is unusual. It's a quiet night, and Maxwell didn't have a mission for me.
I hear Heinkel snoring in the next room. She's such a tomboy, down to the loud snoring. But there is something alluring about the way she looks, something almost sensual about the rough and tumble way she does things.
I better stop there. No sense in committing a sin. Coveting something I know I cannot have would surely be more torture than this damned immortal existence.
What does that make you?
What are you?
What are you?
That damned monster...I shouldn't let this bother me. It was just him playing head games, trying to mess with my convictions.
I'm coming up on eighty. I'm still out fighting, still on the prowl. I haven't aged a day since that night...
A mental door slams shut, making me wince with the pain. I can't really remember much from the past, just broken images.
My parents being murdered.
A street in Berlin, a cloaked form before me, terror shooting through my body.
Placing the barrel of a pistol in my mouth and squeezing the trigger.
Waking up on a table in the Vatican, with the wizened face of a doctor staring down at me.
Then what are you?
I sit up, seeing the young form of Richard Oswald at my door, his rumpled pajamas testament to his attempt to sleep.
"Yes, child, what is it?" I ask as I pull my glasses on.
"I heard a noise outside. I'm scared," I heard a sniffle. The poor child had lost his family in a car wreck several weeks ago. He was still trying to adjust to the fact, and his eight year old imagination was working overtime.
But what if it wasn't just his imagination?
I got up, snagging a robe to drape over my tall form. The robe would also allow me to call any of the bayonets that I held as weapons to me. "Let's go check it out, Richard. I'm sure it's nothing I can't handle."
We headed back to the room that he shared with three other boys. They were all snoring away in their beds, oblivious to the world. I walked to his bed, next to the window and peered out, seeing that a tree branch had blown up against the wall, scratching the paneling from time to time. I opened the window and reached down, breaking the end of the dying limb off and pulling it into the room.
"See, now? There was nothing but a tree branch." I patted him on the head, smiling. "You get back in bed. I'll see the groundskeepers tomorrow about keeping the limbs pruned."
He climbed back into his bunk and I closed the door, pausing a moment to check in on some of the other children.
The children were the only thing that kept me going, protecting them from any attack that they might come under. They were so young, so innocent.
They didn't deserve to have their families ripped from them, their youth torn away like I did when...
I sit on the edge of my bed, staring at the wall. I hear the door creak open again, and Yumiko speaks up.
I shake my head, not turning. I had a few tears in my eyes from the frustration of not being able to remember what had cost me my family, at this maddening double life, of not knowing what I was.
What are you...what are you...
"Richard thought he heard something prowling about. I checked it out, found a tree limb scratching against the side of the building."
She must have heard something in my voice, because she didn't leave quite yet.
"Are you ok?"
I shrugged. "As well as can be expected after getting my arms shot off."
She came up to me and placed a hand on my shoulder. I looked at her hand, the delicate fingers that were callused from using that sword.
"Just remember, that Heinkel and I are here for you if you need to talk. And never forget that God is there as well," she gave my shoulder a squeeze and then left, the door clicking shut behind her.
I sigh deeply. I know that the two of them are there, but how could they understand my problem? Yumiko might, but mine is deeper than having a split personality.
Mine was about if I had a soul or not.
I shut my eyes and hold my hands at my temples. Just shut up! Shut up!
Man...monster...what are you...what are you?
I swing my feet around to lie down and I kick a book. I look as it skitters across the floor, opening to a page. I pick it up and see the title of the next chapter.
Judge me not by my background, but my intentions.
Ask, and ye shall receive.
I lay down, calmer if not settled.
The voice still rings in my head, though now I have an answer for it.
Then what are you?
The instrument of God, messenger of the divine punishment of Heaven. Protector of those that cannot protect themselves.
And by God, I am a man.