Crystal Cerberus

Chapter One: Sea of Flames

Disclaimer: I don't own FF7, even though I wish I did.

A/N: Hi everyone, this is my first fan fiction being published on this site!! I'd like to thank you if you actually look at this. This is a self-insert, meaning real person going into game. This is a result of my craving to play Dirge for the fourth time and then finally getting to. Aside from the part where I go into the game, the parts about my family actually happened.

Flames will not be tolerated…be nice. Reviews will be appreciated greatly, although I probably won't be able to update too often, but when I do, I should usually have a couple chapters. And please tell me what you think; as I post this I'll probably have a nervous breakdown. My sister ruined my confidence for me and my writing a few years ago, but I'll be happy to know what you think.

Yo, I'm Victoria Carlton, I'm thirteen years old, and I have auburn hair, amber eyes. Please, read this even though I'm thirteen. It's important to me, I'm good at writing but I wanna get better.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

I glanced up at the loud clock, boredly awaiting the return of my mom and sister.

Tick. Tick. Tick.

Where were they?

Tick. Tick. Tick.

The store. They were getting some milk, which we needed for a happy Tory, and a candy bar for me. Because I had hurt myself (on accident!). No, I don't smash and scrape my left middle and index fingers in a door just for chocolate! Don't get me wrong, I'd do just about anything short of mugging a nun for chocolate. But I don't like pain—I'm terrible with putting up with pain. Unlike a few years before.

I sighed, standing up from the couch to go into my sister's room, where the PS2 is. Dirge of Cerberus would keep me busy. In fact, the night before, I had spent five hours on the first six chapters of the game. It had been 3:19 when I finally stopped and got ready for bed.

I sat down on my sister's bed, bending down to push the open button. I removed the Okami disk, which my sister had been playing about twenty minutes before (if you don't know what that game is, once again, Google it, it's so worth it).

After replacing the Okami disk with Dirge of Cerberus, I pressed the power button. Okay, it turned on, working, working…and it went to the screen it does when there's no disk in it. I growled, giving it a moment to register…and still nothing! I angrily opened up the cover, and…

"Oh," I said as I immediately took notice of the problem: I had the disk in upside down. Flipping it over carefully, I closed the cover. "That's better." I smiled cheerfully, quickly switching moods as the game functioned correctly. I'm not bipolar, really. I'm just emotional and get angry easily. I'm often shouted at by my older sister for it, too. Oh! Her name's Beth. Short for Elizabeth. We argue a lot, but we love each other anyway.

I hit the first option, Game Start, and moved down until I was on the point where I was in the Shadow Fox with Yuffie. Yuffie Kisaragi, the world's most agitating ninja. That's okay, I still think she's funny—comic relief, ya know?

Ooh, the crystal cave with Lucrecia…why did Vincent even like her? She was perky to the disturbing point, and then screwed Vincent over…well, actually, she kind of got screwed by Hojo…I hate him too. Isn't it kind of creepy? Hojo + Lucrecia = Sephiroth? He's lucky he takes after his mom (I'm talking Lucrecia, not Jenova) and turned out pretty.

"Lucrecia…" Vincent began, and I sighed, letting the controller drop onto the bed beside me, and I watched the scene play out.

I finished putting my stuff together for school the next day, and began to turn off lights throughout the house. Then, I turned off the overhead light in the living room over the couch (I wanted to stay in the living room because the couch was comfier than my, my mom's, or my sister's bed) and lay down on the couch, pulling the blankets up to my shoulders. As I closed my eyes, I reflected on the day before, including the smashing of my fingers. Said fingers were now bandaged, with two bandages on my middle finger do to the fact that it received the worst scraping. I had been in a hurry to close the door, and I had screamed (quite loudly) when the door slammed against them. It was funny when I thought about it, but it wasn't funny at all when it happened. In fact, I cried for a few minutes, and thinking about that's funny, too. Because I even bruised my middle finger, and that's never happened before.

I woke up, stretching and yawning, before reaching for my glasses. I threw my pink blanket over the back of the couch and swung my legs over the side, stepping onto the carpet in my feet, which had been kept warm by a pair of thick socks. I started getting dressed as I glanced at the clock. It read 6:55. I woke up five minutes late…where was Beth?

"Probably forgot to set her alarm clock," I decided while turning to the hallway. It was weird that she wasn't awake, considering the fact that I had watched her set the clock the night before, when we had been drawing our own Harvest Moon characters. "Beth!" I knocked on the door, before opening it a crack. "Get up, sleepy head, get ready for school!"

I closed the door when I didn't hear anything…she's probably hit the snooze on accident, and would wake up at 7:00 instead. She'd be fine.

I returned to the living room, stopping at the front door to check the weather outside. I opened the main door, then the storm door…

My eyes shot wide open. The snow that had fallen the night before was no longer there, and it was actually warm. The sun was already up, but low in the sky, and only visible past a few…buildings…?

Okay, what the fudge? I didn't live in a city, or near many other houses—what the heck?! Where was I?! Upon looking around, I noted that all of the buildings seemed to be a dark shade of blue, and even the bricks that happened to be in a type of swirling pattern were blue. A few people roamed the streets, and I blinked as realization dawned on me.

"Kalm," I whispered.

I gasped loudly as I sat up, breathing a sigh of relief. What a weird dream! But I had to admit, I had my hopes up for a second there…I mean, how cool would it be to wake up in a video game—

Oh.

Oh…

What I was looking at was the blue swirling pattern of the bricks I was lying on. It was warm, but dark out. There was a loud noise that registered as music after a moment, playing in the streets, which I could see from where I was. There were tons of laughing, smiling people…

I stood up, using the wall of the nearby building as support as I forced myself forward on shaky, nervous leg. There was a group of giggling kids nearby…I could ask them…what everyone was celebrating…

Even though I knew.

"Hey, excuse me," I said loudly—I had to repeat myself two or three times—without worrying way too much about them thinking I was an idiot for asking.

"Huh? Oh, what is it?" One of the girls asked. She looked like a normal, carefree kid, wearing a dress that looked as if it was meant to be partied in.

"What's everyone celebrating?" I asked, glancing down at the ground. I was in my pajamas, still, which was embarrassing, and the embarrassment only grew worse as a wave of giggles reached my ears.

"Meteorfall," a blonde explained casually, rolling her eyes at the amused expressions of her friends, "You've been asleep all day, huh?"

"Uh…yeah," I lied, shuddering slightly. I was definitely in trouble unless I woke up soon. But then again, I didn't think I was dreaming anymore. As the wind blew, I saw my bangs—and felt them, as well as the rest of my hair and baggy pajamas—move. "And then I woke up because of all the noise…I guess I forgot to mark my calendar…"

Okay, I was stuck in a video game, and it was a video game where shortly after the opening with the happy festival, the bombs started to drop.

Ka-boom!!

A loud explosion lit up the already bright night sky, the red color of the explosion contrasting the pale blue moon, and the earth shook.

Speak of the devil.

"What the heck was that?!" A man shouted.

Speaking of bombs…And what was with the censorship there?! People swear all the time in this game—

Focus, Tory, focus.

I watched, my heart pounding, as a Deepground plane-jet-thing--Dragonfly--a Deepground "Dragonfly" flew over the walls, soldiers attached to the wings of the jet dropping down to the ground by chords, instantly shooting at people.

"Run!!" The blonde beside me shouted, turning and running. She was little, but really, really fast. It was funny what adrenaline could do to you. Speaking of adrenaline rushes, I was now running, jumping over anything that was in my way, not noticing as my socks were torn up by fallen debris. People were screaming, and my head was spinning. Things were happening too fast—and yet I kept going. I kept going, because I didn't want to die. I kept going, because I was confused. I kept going, because I heard the scream of a man as I outran him—he had been shot down. I glanced over my shoulder, immediately regretting doing so because I slowed down, and stopped. A Deepground shoulder was aiming at the man again while he coughed up blood. The bullet had gone through his chest, and blood was near his head, coming from his mouth. I couldn't take it.

"Stop!!" I wheezed, bending down and hurling a large piece of debris at the soldier. Ah, I just love my bad aim! Not only did he not shoot the man again (maybe not so great considering the dude was probably suffering), but I missed the soldier by a few feet, and he saw me. Bonus.

"I'm screwed." I concluded.

"She's clean!! Get her!!" He shouted as a few people—two men and two women—caught up with him. They started running, and I screamed, taking off around a corner with a renewed burst of adrenaline.

Okay, one of the first things that ran through my mind was "I'm too young to die," but how could I die? I just got here! I jumped, but kept running as shots were fired at my feet. Alright, they were catching up, and I was frequently jumping to avoid bullets at my feet. Almost all I could hear now was the wheezing sound of my breath, and the screams of others.

I wasn't the only one in danger; I needed to remember that. But I had to keep running, or I'd die…

"Whoa!" I shouted, feeling a hand catch my arm and jerk me to the side. I panicked, flailing my arms, actually thinking it was a Deepground soldier—ha-ha, they didn't get me! Although, when the person clamped a hand over my mouth, it really didn't help—until I saw the golden gleam coming from the gauntlet he was wearing. I felt the man shift, and I turned my head slightly, watching him raise his arm, and aim at the group of Deepground soldiers that had been tailing me a moment before.

"Damn, where'd she get to?" The one leading that particular group shouted.

"She couldn't have gotten that far," a woman said, "we should spread out, and—ugh!"

The man had pulled the trigger on his gun, getting a perfect dome shot; an instant kill.

"Look out!" The first soldier barked, and—

Bam, bam, bam, bam!

All five Deepground troops lay dead on the ground, and the man behind me let me go. I turned swiftly, knowing already who had saved me:

Vincent Valentine.

"Thank you…" I said breathlessly as he grabbed the side of his cape, turning around swiftly and releasing it, allowing it to flow freely behind him, his raven black hair billowing in the soft wind. He slipped his trusty, triple-barreled gun, Cerberus, back into its holster on his right leg. A cold feeling was left on my cheek from where his gauntlet had brushed my cheek.

Bwahaha, end of chapter.