Some Kind of Innocent

This is a Star Ocean fan-fiction. I'm writing it for enjoyment, and probably a few good laughs.

Please keep in mind this is based way before the events of Star Ocean: The Last Hope.

He was smaller than the other students. While the others were the proper height, he stood at their shoulders. And, while they were all smart, he was a genius.

The complex problem they were currently faced with was nothing for him, and he finished the work. As he waited for the bell to ring, he started doodling in his notebook. It was for an idea he had, for a one-person ship that would come when called telepathically.

A ruler snapped across his desk, effectively breaking his concentration. "And what is this?" the teacher demanded.

"A ship." he replied.

"It looks nothing like a ship that we currently use. What are you trying to do, make fun of us?" the teacher snapped. "Answer me, Faize."

The boy sighed. "I was thinking it would work as a one-man ship, easily modified for singular combat or exploration." He looked down. "I'll stop."

The teacher surprised him. "I'll send these to the military department."

Faize tried not to let his excitement show. "Yes, ma'am." he said.

Just then, the bell rang. As one, the students stood and politely bowed to the teacher before leaving the classroom in single file. As usual, Faize was last.

As he walked past another class, he caught sight of an older student who was practicing weaponry. While many of the students used guns or swords, this student was clumsy with either. He seemed to prefer a longer weapon, so the teacher had him working with one of the practice scythes. And the student seemed to make it dance.

Faize stared in awe for a moment before realizing he was supposed to be on lunch. He scurried off, not realizing that the student with the scythe had seen him.

Faize placed his books in his locker and retrieved his lunch box. He knew that since this was the half-day, he'd have to go to the medical ward afterwards for their assessment on how he was developing. It was one of the problems with being a test-tube child. There were some small development issues that had begun cropping up since two generations ago of the test-tube kids. Faize himself was a third-generation, and a lot of hopes rested on him.

"Eyesight seems normal." said the medical professional. "Though we've never had a child born with violet eyes before."

Faize tried not to be nervous.

"You alright?" asked the nurse.

Faize nodded, but his eyes flickered red.

"Doctor, his eyes changed." said the nurse. "He seems nervous, or scared, and they flickered red."

"Hmm." said the doctor, taking note of this. "Faize, what's wrong?"

He swallowed. "My caretaker hasn't arrived yet."

"You seem frightened without her."

He nodded again. "I'll be fine."

Just then, Jetta came in, Faize's caretaker. She was tall, beautiful, with violet hair and amber eyes. "Hey, sorry I'm late." She handed the doctor her observational notes on Faize.

"He seems shorter than other Eldarians his age."

"Yeah." said Jetta. "My son the same age as him is a good head taller. But he's nowhere near as good at symbology as Faize is."

"A symbologist?" asked the doctor.

"Yes." said Jetta. "He uses Earth Glave, and minor healing symbology. I'm sure with some practice and a teacher willing to put up with him, he could do more."

Faize sighed.

"Faize, where's your notebook?" Jetta asked.

"The teacher took it." he replied. "She said she was sending it to the military division, because of the plans in there for the one-man ship."

"He seems very intelligent, and his reflexes are superior to any natural-born Eldarian." said the doctor. "And he's doing better than the other three survivors."

Faize swallowed. How often must he be reminded he was only a survivor?

It had been early spring when the warnings went off that the infant pods were starting to shut down. Something had broken into the facility, and was killing off the new batch of babies, all of which were in their last stages of infancy before birth.

In a panic, the command went out to birth the remaining children before their pods shut down. Of the children, only thirty were born. Of those, only four made it. The others had been too premature and weak to survive. And of the four survivors, the only boy was the weakest.

Faize's batch of children had been the last in years. The three girls were being raised together by a military man, while he was being raised by one of the scientists that had made him. Still, his curiosity was piqued.

"What's wrong with the others?" he asked.

"Two have become sickly, and the third died this morning." said the doctor. "Despite your condition when you were born, you're the healthiest and strongest one."

Faize nodded. He listened as the doctor continued to talk to Jetta.

"His ears are sensitive, though. Just like the other two generations. He's going to have to be fitted for the ear-covers, and soon."

"But the piercing will hurt him." said Jetta.

"It's better this get done sooner rather than later, when the ears are fully developed."

"True. He starts his military training soon."

"It must be done before then."

Jetta nodded. "How are you going to do it?"

"He'll choose the design, and then we knock him out for the procedure. We can't risk damage like we did with the first generation ones. That child, Arumat, is scarred along his one ear because of that."

Faize looked at the designs for the ear coverings. They all looked painful, but one in particular stood out. It was a silver and mauve set, with a chain from the attachment ring to a teardrop pendant. He liked those ones. The covers were thin, allowing for one to hear properly, while at the same time protecting the delicate, sensitive ear underneath.

"Those ones." he said.

"Are you sure?" They're kind of girlish, aren't they?" asked Jetta.

"I like those ones." said Faize. "And it's me stuck wearing them, not you."

"True." said Jetta. She sighed. "I'll wait for you to finish, doctor."

A few of the girls poked at Faize's ears when he returned to school a week later.

"They're so cute." "I wish I had a pair." "So adorable!"

He sighed. "They still hurt." he said, but none of them bothered to listen. Oh, well. Might as well get to his desk. The military was coming to pick up their recruits today.

Two officers stepped into the room, and the rest of the class took their seats. They began reading off names, and one by one, the students called got up and stood along the wall. "Faize Sheifa Beleth."

He stood and joined the line, only to find his name had been last. With a smile and a bit of pride, Faize followed the officers out of the classroom and to the waiting vehicle.

Years later . . .

Faize spotted two humans at the edge of some water on Aeos. He landed, and offered to help them as they fought a huge sea creature.

As the battle finished, he introduced himself to them. "I'm Faize. Faize Sheifa Beleth."