This little drabble takes place during the very first mission ("Sea of Flames"). On my first playthrough, it was the only first-person shooter I'd ever played aside from a test run of "Devil May Cry 2". I was still learning the controls, but up until that point I'd done pretty well. However, I ran out of ammunition before I got the level where you had to shoot across the flaming pit to save three citizens. I realized that I couldn't get to them any other way, and I had to listen to them die. I started wondering how Vincent might have taken being forced to listen helplessly as three innocent people died.

This is the result.

Three people were pinned, between the flames and the approaching Deepground soldiers. There they cowered, hands in front of their faces. They screamed for help, or pleaded with the soldiers to spare their lives.

They were not spared. The three Deepground troops mowed them down like dogs.

And Vincent Valentine saw it all, feeling sick.

He should have saved them. He should have shot down the Deepground soldiers before those bastards had had so much as a chance to draw their weapons. He should have come to the rescue.

But he had no way to get across the raging flames that had separated him from them.

And he was out of ammo.

He'd been so focused on saving the other civilians rushing past him that he'd abandoned caution and fired without regard to his stock of bullets. When he had fought with Cloud and his friends, ammo had hardly ever been a problem. He hadn't had to fire as much, because he had others to back him up.

Now, alone again, he realized he'd gotten sloppy.

For his carelessness, three people had died.

The Deepground soldiers hadn't seen him through the flames, and Vincent couldn't get to them. Angry and helpless, he ran on.

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