Author: I feel like the story of the Shuriken female from Before Crisis is too vague, so with my powers of authoressdom I will be filling in the gaps. She came from an orphanage, and what wandered into my mind was the question "Well, what made them want to enlist a mere orphan into the TURK's ranks?" This story is my answer.

Well, enough of my rambling, The Final Fantasy characters/world belong to Square.

Warren: On with da fic!

Welcome to the Orphanage

Shizune, a fair skinned little girl with curly red hair and amber eyes, stared out the window blankly at the street at night, and soon her eyes fell on a happy family on the street with a small brown haired child walking down the streets.

I miss my family…

She sighed and decided to turn away from the window deciding that it wouldn't do any good thinking like that on things. She didn't want to feel jealous of people who had nothing to do with her, but she couldn't help but long for the feeling of having a family again. The orphanage's children and caretaker were her family now. Over the years of being there she had come to know many of the child residents of the orphanage. One stood out amongst the rest though, a kid by the name of Ryo. He was always fun to be around, although it hadn't always been that way. When she first met him she didn't trust him much at first because he seemed so eccentric to her. He would be extremely happy one moment, but if one slightly mean thing were said to him he would retreat into himself and curl up in the corner and not say anything more until the person apologized. He would then resume being his usual cheerful self. For some reason she found herself protecting him a lot, and it made her feel happy when he was happy. But…there was still a hidden pain in her heart from the events of her past.

If only that strange man hadn't arrived at her house. Then she would never end up here away from the sun or the flowers. It was so dank and cold under the plate of Midgar too. Last week the heater broke, but luckily Lucy the caretaker had a lot of spare blankets.

She had been brought to the orphanage by a younger couple that said that they had found her in a field by the road while they were driving home from Kalm. They told Lucy that they didn't have enough money to care for Shizune so they wanted the orphanage to take her in, especially since they couldn't find her parents anywhere.

She had been here now for so long that it felt like a new home to her, but deep down something was telling her to be free and that she had to get out of this place. These slums.

I know what I'll do! I'll get strong and then I'll take myself and everybody else in the orphanage away from the stinky plates of Midgar and to a great place like my old home! I must get stronger! I will, I will!

"Uh…Shizune? Are you okay?" a young shorthaired girl asked.

Apparently Shizune was now standing up with her fists clenched in front of her and a strangely determined look stuck on her face.

"She looks like she's having fun." A young boy sitting on a box stated and looked over with kind smile. " I'll have you know that I was thinking of serious business matters." Retorted Shizune " Someday we'll leave here Ryo, and then we'll be able to move away from this stinky place." She said looking over at the boy that was smiling at her.

Ryo was a darker skinned boy with black, gelled-back hair and yellow eyes. He was known in the orphanage for being a pushover, and the sort of person that was "too kind for their own good" No bully would dare mess with him while Shizune was around though, because she was very protective of him and would give the attackers a good thumping across the head to say the least.

"That would be nice, but where would we go?" replied Ryo.

" Anywhere! Haven't you ever thought of the outside world before? We'll go on an adventure and save the world and fight a dragon or something." Declared the red haired girl. "Out…side?" Ryo asked with a tilted head.

"You're silly Shi-shi." Said a black haired girl at the orphanage; "We're apart of the slums now."

Caretaker Lucy, an elderly woman with her fine white hair pulled into a bun and a gentle looking face, shuffled in just then and spoke with her benign old lady voice, "You kids are always full of such imagination and energy. It's just how I was when I was as little as you all. If only some of that energy rubbed off on me, then I could keep up with you all." At this she chuckled a little.

"Oh, hello Ms. Lucy" stated some of the kids when she came in. "Come now everyone, it's time for bed." "Awww…already?" everybody responded discouraged.

All of the orphans climbed into their beds after they had changed into their nightgowns and pajamas. Some even fought over top bunk. Shizune challenged Ryo to rock paper succors, lost twice, and was forced to submit the top bunk to the victor.

"Good night young'uns and sweet dreams." Lucy said right as she turned out the lights.

That night, Shizune did dream. She was standing on a circle of grass and yellow and white lilies. Everything else was pitch black around her besides the flowers and herself. The ground that she stood on seemed to illuminate the area around her just enough so that she could see though. "Where am I?" She said as she looked around. "Just what I was thinking." Said a deeper voice that came from the darkness.

Just then tall and imposing silver haired man stepped out from the shadows. Shizune had never seen a person so intimidating, yet he seemed so intriguing and alluring. Everything was just so strange about him. From his long silver hair to the way he held himself, and it was all so different. Especially his eyes, those strange luminescent green eyes Shizune had never seen before. They were beautiful, but also a little scary. He was dressed in black leather that surrounded most of his body except for his chest, which was bare for all to see. He also had matching black leather gloves and boots with not a speck of dirt on them.

I don't think that armor is very effective, unless the leather X belt on your chest magically deflects blows. At least the white shoulder pads provide some protection I guess…

"It's rude to stare."

Sephiroth stated coldly as he stared down at the red haired girl. Somehow she had lost herself for a while and had been staring at him blankly with her mouth open. Shizune shook her head quickly and introduced herself to the strange man; " My name is Shizune Lee, am I dreaming?" she extended out her hand to him. "Sephiroth." He responded as he looked around the room. "Uh…" she pulled her hand back to her body and looked off to the side, "Is that your name?" "Yes. I am in SOLDIER as well." "Wow! I've heard of them! Is it fun to be in SOLDIER?" Sephiroth raised his eyebrow slightly at her question and responded, "I wouldn't call it fun…but it can have its interesting moments." Shizune pulled her arms behind her head and said while looking up to him " I want to be strong, I bet all of SOLDIER is strong too. So, maybe one day I'll be in SOLDIER too." Sephiroth shook his head at the girl's statement "Ha, it is easier said than done. You can't go anywhere just saying you will do something. That's for fools to do." Shizune stuck her arms back down at her sides and scrunched in her face at this. The short girl replied " I'm no fool, I'll teach you that I can become strong!" she then tried doing some swipes at him but Sephiroth had already stuck his hand on her forehead letting her swipe at the air in a vain and childish effort to actually strike him.

"You're strange…." He said looking at her and shaking his head. "So are you." Shizune stated as she stopped her attack. An awkward silence filled the area around the two stood there facing each other. "….But…" He stated, slowly letting go of her forehead "…I suppose you're alright…for a child." Shizune stared at him for a moment confused. "Huh?…" Sephiroth shook his head looking off in the distance, "It's nothing…it's just that what you said reminded me of something another person once said to me, except his was much more harsh…He used to say, that I was magnificent specimen, and would belong no where else but where I am now." Another awkward silence ensued as Sephiroth stared into the distant darkness.

Ah… I didn't mean to hurt his feelings or anything…Uh…maybe I should fix this somehow…come on Shizune, say something! Say anything! You can do it!

"Uh… Hey, since you are here…um… can you teach me how to be strong? You're in SOLDIER, so you're strong and so you should know how to become strong too." Shizune replied casually unaware of how important or dangerous Sephiroth was, but mostly saying this to change the subject. "I was born strong like this… I guess people like you would call it a gift…Strength is not something learned easily." Sephiroth said stoically looking down at the flowered ground. " Oh come on, you should at least know some kind of secret ninja moves or something, right?" Sephiroth looked at her and answered "I can teach you basic sword techniques if it will make you leave me alone." " All right!" she said gleefully. A plastic katana then appeared in her hand and Sephiroth pulled his own sword from its hilt. " Pay attention, I'm not repeating any of this. This is you hold your sword…" and so the small redheaded girl learned some sword basics from the master in her strange dream.

"Take that villain!" yelled one of the younger kids in the orphanage as he smacked the sleeping red-haired girl in the head with a plank. "Owwwwww!!!" Screamed Shizune as she shot up from her bed. "You little brat!" shouted Shizune as she shot a glare at the now grinning prankster. " I'll get you for that, Tommy!" she yelled as she jumped from the bed and ran after Tommy shaking her fists of rage. They continued like that all the way to the back of the orphanage, except Shizune had managed to find another plank to counter Tommy's. Ryo and a couple other children came out to watch, drawn in by the new action that was occurring in the orphanage. And so, the plank wars waged on….

Meanwhile at Shinra HQ:

"We are running low on specimens that I can work with." declared a creepy high-pitched voice in the Shinra headquarters meeting room. "Haven't the victims of the Kalm incident been enough for you Hojo?" Stated Reeve. The creepy voice had belonged to ShinRa's own mad scientist, Hojo. "Aren't you a little too low in the company order to know that information, Reeve?" Reeve turned his face away from him and clenched his teeth. "I will require more samples to work with." Continued Hojo. "And just what do you suppose we should do about that?" remarked snidely the red dress clad Scarlet from her seat. " The samples must be taken without notice, so I believe that a place where the people are not important should be a suitable location to start with. " replied the mad doctor. " We should take from the poorer sections. Nobody would care if some street urchin were to suddenly go missing." Spoke the head of ShinRa. "Yes…like an orphan." Hojo added. "Then go to an orphanage and get on with those weird little experiments of yours." Scarlet said.

" Very well, Hojo, I will grant you permission to collect the orphans. Tseng will accompany you as a bodyguard." said the president of ShinRa dismissively as he waved Hojo off.

Back at the Orphanage

"Ha! I win!" exclaimed a triumphant Shizune whose foot had been firmly planted on top of Tommy's head. "Waaaaah! Shizune's a meanie!" wailed the poor boy under her foot. "Aww….C'mon Shizune. Let him go, " commented one of the orphans who had watched the battle, "He was only playing around earlier." "He deserves it though. " stated Shizune quite seriously. She let her foot off from his head and the little boy shot out from under it and sped off like a rocket running over to Ms.Lucy to cry about his experience with the bottom of Shizune's shoe.

Moments later Ms.Lucy had come back into the main living room of the orphanage with her arm around the boy whose eyes were now puffy from crying. "Now there, there. It'll all be okay." She patted him for comfort as he sniffed. "Shizune, say you're sorry." Embarrassed, she turned her face away from her and said softly, "Sorry." Tommy perked up a little at this and exclaimed that she should look at him face to face and say it, since that's what a sincere person would do, but the moment was cut short by a knock at the door. It was an exciting and puzzling moment for the children of the orphanage because the knock could mean visitors who would want to adopt them or something more troubling such as people asking for money. Ms.Lucy was the first one to go to the door. Everybody was curious and wanted to see who it was, but Ms.Lucy told the children to stay back a ways from the door.

"Hello, I have come for these children of yours. They are all going to be ShinRa's property from now on." Creaked an unsettling voice from the door. "What? ShinRa can't possibly do that, can they? What do you mean? Who are you?" questioned the puzzled caretaker to the doctor. Shizune caught a glance of who was at the door and gasped. "Ryo" she whispered looking to her friend, "That's that man. That's him, the one who killed mother and father." Ryo shot a shocked look at her and whispered back, "Shizune…Then, does that means he's going to hurt us too?" Her eyes darted around the room looking for an answer and she shook her head replying to him that she did not know the answer.

"Yes, yes, I can't be troubled by you getting in the way. I am a busy man you know, and I have to be getting back to my work." Hojo said as he stepped right past the orphanage's caretaker and into the main room. He glanced back and Tseng and issued an order to the TURK, "Tseng, hold this woman back for me." He took one glance around the room and adjusted his glasses with hand while the other was planted firmly behind his back. "Hmm…. Yes, this will do, but it is not what I would have hoped for. No matter, good specimens do not come around very often."

It's definitely him! What is he talking about? Specimens...? Well, what if I don't want to be a specimen?

The small redhead clenched her fists tighter at the thought of being taken away by that man. Hatred boiled and stirred in her heart, for the first time in a long while she blamed somebody. The thoughts rushed in and fused with her fury. All the rage of having her family taken from her, of being sent to the one of worst parts of Midgar in an orphanage, of being helpless, all things. It made her body shake just thinking of it all.

"Single file, please. All of you children will be going into the back of the van, understood?" he ordered to the orphans.

I won't let him take my friends!

She grabbed Ryo's arm, as he was moving forwards. "Ryo…stay." Shizune whispered as the fire of rage boiled inside her young eyes.

"Ohh, I see. So we have a couple of stragglers. You understood my order didn't you?" Hojo said looking over at Shizune and Ryo who where both firmly planted and would not budge from their standing position unlike the other children, who were obediently being loaded up into the black unknown van.

"I understood you perfectly. We're not going with you." Shizune stated firmly staring directly into his eyes. "Whaat?! Little girl, do you know who I am?" declared Hojo. Shizune growled back "Like I said, we're not going with you." Hojo was taken back by the comment, and studied her a little not sure what to think. He then cackled and exclaimed, "This one has spirit!" "I have more than spirit." She replied feeling her hate grow. Hojo bent down to study her more closely, "Hmm. You show a lot of promise as a new sp—" he was cut short by the crack of Shizune's knuckles across the right side of the old man's jaw. Lucky for her, but not for Hojo, she had been given the gift of strong bones and had left the mad doctor's jaw a mess. "Ryo! We have to leave now!" Yelled Shizune as she tugged Ryo along with her out the back door away from Hojo. They ran as fast as they could across the wooden floor to the stone and concrete of the outside streets. "Shizune…that sure was brave…" Ryo whispered as he ran beside her to his freedom.

"Fools! What are you all standing around for!? I want that specimen retrieved right now!" screeched the now enraged Hojo who was holding onto his own bloody jaw. Tseng suddenly straightened up and went right out the door with a couple of ShinRa MP's behind him. The chase was on for the one person in the world who had managed to successfully punched Hojo right on the chin. It shall forever be a little crooked on the right….

Mission Start!

Pursued by ShinRa soldiers the two children ran as fast as their legs could carry them through the dismal and dark streets of the slums "This way!" Shizune yelled and pulled Ryo suddenly behind an alleyway's trashcan. The two scrunched in their legs into their chests breathing heavily and trying to catch their breaths from the running. The sound of heavy footsteps going past them could be heard echoing into the distance. Silence set in on the two children as they hid.

"So, what do you think will happen to our friends?" Ryo asked looking up from his knees over to Shizune. With this thought in her mind Shizune looked down at her feet and hugged her legs replying, "I don't know, Ryo. He's a bad man, Ryo." "Oh…" Ryo looked up at the upper plate above them, " Shizune, even if we're caught…we'll always be together, right?" Shizune looked over at him with a perplexed look and replied, "What? I dunno, maybe." She stood up and continued, "But whatever happens I know that we are going to survive this." She smiled softly at him and helped him up. "Let's go, Ryo." The two walked along and searched for an area that the orphan children used to say was the path to outside of


"Tseng, this is Veld. How far has the target gotten from you?" Echoed the voice from Tseng's cell phone. Tseng replied back into his phone, "Not far, sir. They're moving quickly though, but we're waiting for them to arrive over the wall of Midgar, and soldiers are searching the sector we were in as we speak." "Good work, Tseng. You've always been the tactician." "Thank you sir. Tseng out." He hung up his phone and stared at the section of Midgar the children had talked about. "And now…we wait."

Shizune climbed up over Ryo's shoulders and poked her head out over the wall. "We made it Ryo!" She exclaimed proudly pulling Ryo up with her onto the wall. "No, Shizune, there's something wrong." Ryo said looking worried at his friend. Shizune paused and looked around getting the same feeling he was. She shook it off though and told Ryo that it was nothing, so they proceeded to climb down from the wall. "Well that was easy" Shizune said under her breath, but just as they had made it some ways from the wall they heard the blare from a helicopter a ways away from them. "Please do not move, we have you in sight and will be taking you in."

"Shoot. Looks like we'll have to run through it." Shizune said looking over at Ryo. "What?! Are you crazy?! Run right through?!" Ryo shouted with a shocked expression. "Yes. Right on through." And they did, they ran right under the helicopter and sped off away from it as the helicopter took its time in turning all the way around. The two where in the wastelands around Midgar now and they continued running through until they had come across a cliff facing the ocean.

What if I can't make it out of here alive? The thought hit her heart hard like a heavy rock. She was still so young and there was still so much out there that she might be able to accomplish, even if she was just an orphan.

There may not be any hope for me, but maybe I can save Ryo.

"Ryo! Run!" She said pushing her friend away from her "Shizune!" He yelled looking back to the girl. "Just keep going! I'll be fine! You just need to live on!" She screamed back as she took off full speed for the edge of the cliff. She skidded to a stop at the very end of it and spun around to face the helicopter that was now in front of her. "This isn't good…" she murmured.

"Please, stand down and we promise not to hurt you." A stern voice called from the speakers on the helicopter. Shizune took a step back from the hovering helicopter and felt her foot slip slightly on the edge of the cliff behind her. Not good. It's either being taken in by these strange people or falling off the cliff. She looked over her shoulder at the ledge hoping for some hidden way out. "So, will you give up and cooperate with us now?" spoke the voice from the helicopter.

Mother…what would you do in this predicament? Just as that thought passed her mind she noticed that there was a waterfall flowing down through a cave opening on a lower section of the cliffs. Maybe I can make it out of here alive then if I just… "No thanks, I'll take my chances!" Shizune yelled as she turned towards the cliff and took one huge leap off the edge. "No! You'll kill yourself!"

Mission Finale

"Sir, still no sign of the target." Reported a ShinRa grunt to Tseng. Tseng shook his head and looked along the water's bank. " Jumping off a cliff… what a reckless thing to do" He mumbled to himself. He knew that the Turks were an intimidating group of people, but he never expected that a little girl would be so scared that she'd choose to risk her life over the cliff rather than live by cooperating with them. It was understandable though considering that the mission had originally been to seek out new specimens for a madman to play with. Tseng looked down and shook his head grieving silently feeling sorry and responsible for the children who had been taken. The possibility of this girl's death weighed even heavier on him though, for it would be his own fault and not just because of orders. He lost him self for a moment thinking of all the different strategies he could have used to avoid having her come to a cliff.

"Sir! We found something!" a man called out on the far end of the water's bank. Tseng looked up suddenly shaken from his thoughts. Tseng walked over to where the small girl was lying unconscious. "Hm….You know what I think?" Tseng said looking over at the grunt. "Sir?" the grunt responded confused. "I think…that she would make a great Turk." Tseng carefully scooped up the small red-haired girl in his arms and headed back to the helicopter. "We're going back to the orphanage." Tseng told the pilot of the helicopter. "Huh? How come?" responded the operator. "I've got somebody I'd like to adopt." "Sure thing then!"

This time the blood is not on my hands

End of mission