All That I Have
A/N: This was inspired by Theme 92 - All That I Have from the 100 Themes list and is canon to my ongoing fic, Tenshi no Tsubasa. I'd initially decided not to put this up at all until TheFinalHikari told me of RedLeather's writing competition on DA, so I decided to give it a shot. Betaed by TheFinalHikari, thanks so much!
And as always, to all readers, enjoy and please leave a review!
The fact that my cell was pitch-dark was inconsequential. I could still see far better in it than any SOLDIER, thanks to the constant experiments conducted upon my body. Even now as I glanced at the stone walls around me in the shadowy room, I perceived them as clearly as though it was day instead of night.
I was huddled in a corner with my knees pulled close to my chest, encircled by my arms. The heavy chain that connected the cuffs on my wrists hung limply as I rested my head on my knees and closed my eyes, exhaling softly.
Even with my long auburn hair concealing it from view, I could sense the occasional twitching from the new limb.
Instantly, an image of my feathery appendage flashed into my mind; the huge ebony wing with blood splattered all over the long feathers. It was a demon's wing - a monster's wing.
The very thought elicited a shudder of revulsion and the limb twitched, presumably in response. I felt the slight movement with incredible acuity, a painful reminder that this horrible… thing was somehow mine.
No; I couldn't bring myself to look at it. I didn't want to see what kind of monstrosity I had become.
A rugged sigh escaped my lips as I buried my face in my hands. I was so weary… so tired of being forced to comply time and again with the scientists' every wish and whim. There was no mercy whatsoever in the atrocities they committed, but there was also no possibility for me to refuse. I didn't want Angeal here instead. This was the only way to save the friend I'd known all my life from this terrible fate.
The chill of the bare stone floor made me shiver slightly. Instinctively, my wing curled around me, warm feathers brushing gently against my clammy skin. A loose feather slipped free, landing on my open palm. I clenched it tightly, wishing that I could destroy all evidence of my inhumanity with this simple act.
And yet, I wondered, what remained under all this endless experiments and enhancements? What else was changed, distorted beyond recognition? What had really become of Genesis Rhapsodos?
I had no sort of freedom. I had lost my humanity, my friends, my family. What did that leave me with? Was I still a man with dreams and pride? Or was I reduced to a monster with nothing to feel but pain, fear, anger and shame?
I loosened my grip on the single ebony feather, staring at it with resignation and resentfulness. It was a little crushed, but retained its shape. I examined it fleetingly, before carelessly tossing it aside.
No, I quite simply refused to become a monster. I was still a man and no number of wings sprouting from my back could change that. I still had my pride, my dignity. I'd never let them take those away from me. They were all that I had left that was really a part of me.
I was no monster. I was and would always remain… Genesis Rhapsodos, First Class SOLDIER of Shinra. And no one could take that away from me.
No one at all.