To Nistelle:
Inspired by the author's work
"Grace of God"

Sawing through the metal of a shotgun, a prisoner gritted his teeth. The sound was worst than nails on a chalkboard and the hall echoed far too loudly than he desired. Brushing some of his dirty blonde hair out of his face, he continued to cut. Finally, the barrels were cut in half and not a second too late. Footsteps could be heard, charging down the hall behind him. It was either fight or flight.

Thrusting the shotgun between his hip and belt, the prisoner ran down the rest of the hall, rushing towards an open window. Shots rang out, singing the song of death… his death. Luck was with him as the guards were lousy shots. Guarding his face, he leapt out the window, plummeting to the cement below.

Calmly, the prisoner threw his hands behind him, praying he didn't jump too far. He didn't. The edge of a window slapped against his hands, flipping him completely around. During the descent, the con saw a flag pole. He began calculating exactly when to grab it.

The wind whipped through his hair, giving him a feeling of absolute freedom. Freedom of the world, freedom of his very life. The prisoner wrapped his fingers around the smooth pole. If it rained, even in the last few days, the pole would've been too slick to hold onto and his life would have ended. Still, the escapee's arms ached as they were almost ripped out of their sockets.

Damn that hurt, thought the prisoner looking down, I'm still ten floors up.

"Surrender! There is nowhere for you to go!" came a shout from above.

Without giving a response, the con slid down the pole, letting go, and slipping into an open window. Screams of 'FIND HIM' continued, but he wouldn't give them a second's rest. Hastily, the prisoner ran down the maze of corridors and rooms until he finally found the stairs leading down to the streets below. Six Shinra guards stood at attention, denying him an escape. Shifting his eyes from left to right, he was hoping to find another way out without drawing attention to himself.

"Hey, the prisoner is escaping!" yelled one of the guards.

Quickly pulling out his gun, the con shot the guard in the chest. As their comrade fell over, the other five readied themselves to fire. Before a single shot went off, the prisoner grasped a stone in his pocket. Five fingers began to squeeze a trigger but only one fired. The bullet discharged out of the barrel and into the prisoner's right shoulder.

Gritting his teeth, the escapee ran down the corridor and hung a left. Backpedaling to a large garbage shoot, he had no choice but to jump in. Switching the gun over to his left hand, he leapt into the escape hatch. The slide was a relatively smooth one. Before hitting the garage below, the prisoner set his shotgun horizontally inside the shoot, stopping his descent.

"Where is he? I want that traitor found!" hollered a familiar voice.

The prisoner's heart began to race. He even saw the superior officer, a colonel most likely, barking orders at his subordinates. All they had to do was look up and the game would come to a close. Furthermore, his gun arm began to spasm.

"Sir. We searched here three times and the traitor is no where to be seen," replied one of the soldiers.

"Find him. He is a master when it comes to materia. There is no telling what he'll do with the Time materia he stole from me, given enough time for him to rest. Now find him!" with that, the superior officer turned around and stormed off.

"Sir! Yes colonel sir!"

Come on and leave. Gazing up to his arm, the 'traitor's' tendons were going numb. Hearing an erythematic sound of droplets, he stared down in horror. His blood from his wounded shoulder was gliding down the shaft and dripping just inches away from the nearest soldier. Letting out a sigh, the con thought, It's got to be my luckiest day. Just not the type of luck one likes to have.

"Sector Delta secure. We are moving to sector Beta. Let's move," commanded one of the guardsmen.

As they left, the prisoner's arm completely gave out, forcing him to release the jammed gun. The smell of the trash was foul, but to him, it smelled like liberation. Scurrying out of the garbage, he noticed a pick-up truck parked in the garage he was in. The con jumped into the back of the truck and quickly began covering himself with some tarp.

I can't make a sound. Using the Time materia, the traitor froze in place. Each of his muscles tightened and even his respiratory system just stopped. The prisoner was not even aware that the truck was already driving out of the garage.

The colonel knelt down before the pool of blood. Pushing one of his fiery red locks out of his face, he pulled off his right glove. Touching the warm fluid, the colonel brought it to his nose and inhaled the iron aroma. Nodding, he wiped off his hand with a cloth and stood up.

"He was here in the last hour. How many vehicles left in that time?" asked the colonel placing his hand back into his glove.

"Three trucks are still unaccountable for, sir."

"Find the owners of those vehicles and question them thoroughly. I don't believe he had an accomplice, so try to get them on our side. Furthermore, the general locked down this sector, so he has to be here. Until the mayor or the president can declare marital law, we cannot search any buildings or vehicles without a proper warrant."

"But sir. Couldn't we play ignorant and use probable cause?" asked a soldier.

"GET DOWN AND GIVE ME FIFTY!" yelled the colonel.

The soldier dropped to his stomach, double time, and began pushing himself off the ground. The colonel glared back at his subordinates. Quickly, they all stood at attention, except the soldier on the ground. In their eyes, the colonel could tell they questioned his commands. A lunatic was roaming the city and each of them wanted him stopped before he could do any harm.

"Listen up. I want him caught more than anyone here, but we must follow orders. No soldier will enter any civilian house during peace time, nor will they charge in without a warrant. Without law, there is only anarchy. I'm confidant we'll find him, but we must do it without breaking the law. Now, move out!"

The green materia sparkled beautifully off the morning sun. The secrets buried deep within the magical gem shone easily in the eyes of the genius. Gently placing the stone into a sterling silver ring, the con stood up to his five and a half foot height and opened his arms wide. The breeze of the cool mountain air whipped all about him.

"By the power of the Ancients and the brilliance of man, I command you to release your true powers," chanted the prisoner.

The materia began to glow and the ring started to hum. A stream of light erupted out of the materia, creating a brilliant white door. Breathlessly, the prisoner looked behind the door and realized that it was a two-dimensional space in a three dimensional plane. Where would he go if he walked through?

Only one way to find out, the prisoner thought before jumping through the door of light.