From where he was stationed, Noctis could see far into the misty distance, though what lay in such a mist remained obscured with distance. His wounded hand tightened once about one of the prongs of the parapet with disdainful force before he let it drop lazily to his side, all but devoid of effort. It was rather cold here atop the roof of some abandoned warehouse; apart from the relentless keening of rain that battered at him, silvery strands of wind easily flouted the shocks of buildings that failed to act as some sort of wind-breaking, tracing and floundering until it found about his carefully selected hiding spot.

A strange city this was, as prosperous it appeared yet at the same time reeking of poverty and suffering. It had not taken long for him to learn of the city's name (Eju? Edge?) and its corporate leaders, the ShinRa. How overly flamboyant it was to paste one's name all of the district. He was but a mere interloper of the area, but could only imagine the annoyance of the denizens as they gazed out the musty windows of their land-based houses to the glaring face of such an absolute government. Obviously, the people residing in the lower parts of the city were unhappy.

Noctis gritted his teeth as a pang of pain suddenly left him lightheaded once again. How foolish he'd been to flirt with danger and take the dull-witted soldiers for granted. A mere slip of the foot and he'd been forced to dispatch the men as if they were no more than beasts. Quick as rain, the steel-visored soldier had cleaved a heavy wound down the underside of his arm, and, perhaps in a bout of temperament, retaliated the deed as cleanly and as brutally as would a tiger's revenge.

And now, hovering halfway between the inviting muffled darkness that lead back into the building and the merciless weather, he was torn between finishing his current mission at hand and finding care for his wound. A siren wailed somewhere off in the distance, completely oblivious to fact that this man was positioned quite nonchalantly upon this rooftop, threatening the wellbeings of the city as it was. Noctis's lip twitched as his wounded hand gave another pulse of pain. There was something in that soldier's weapon, he knew it. Noctis would not have much time left.

Speak of Etro, as it were. Already, he could hear complaints and shouts of soldiers — reinforcements — from the comfortable darkness. Noctis wiped a handful of water from his drenched face as he nearly laughed at the irony, hastening his fumbling, bitter fingers to attach the last of the plan to the building. He did not have much time left. He would have abandon his post, and quickly.

There. Upon the roof of a neighboring building. He fastened the clasps on his glove idly, moving swiftly across the rooftop. He built speed, pressed down through his boots to gain traction and for a split-second, he was hanging between empty air and a hundred feet of freefall —

And he was across, landing not-so-elegantly upon the rinsed surface of the warehouse rooftop; in the settling, however, he'd cuffed that blasted wounded hand against a nearby wall with enough force to drive bile into his throat. Far behind him, he could hear machine guns firing in random directions, exploding flowers in the air, if they would. It would be impossible for the soldiers to see him now, all but an nondescript blur in the glassy threat that was the rain. As the last of the pain dribbled off, Noctis rose confidently to his feet as directly behind him, where the ignorant soldiers poured out from the inky darkness, the building exploded.

Even facing away into the rain, Noctis could see how the flames so quickly incinerated the building, quite practically decimated it. His expression flickered. Mission complete. Toying with the file tucked deep within a hidden pocket, he made to exit the rooftop.

And suddenly, he was down on his knees, pain everywhere, blood everywhere, anguish — no! He could not let this mission proceed unfinished. He grappled with thin air, scrabbled at the wet floor, unable to gain traction, all but a floundering fish out of the water. No! All the while, that poisoned hand pulsed gently. Laughing steadily at his pain. Noctis would be lost here. The Crystal would be lost. A damned prince.

The rain fell steadily, a lament for his demise. He turned, with great difficulty, to his side, and could see no more.

[[A short one-shot that eventually turned into a pretty lengthy roleplay thread, and the first of my series of one-shots. I hope you enjoyed it.]]