Review and tell me what you think. I'm trying to keep Sophia in character, but not as pathetic as some people make her out to be. Complaints? Thoughts? Comments? I'm all ears. Tell me if this is a disgrace to the makers of Star Ocean.

Chapter One: For My Own Good

The screeching stopped, although the warning siren still rang on. Sophia didn't know what to do. This was one of the first times she was actually truly alone aside from the time when she was alone in the escape pod. Tears leaked out of the side of her eyes and she cursed herself for being so weak. The red light coming from the emergency lights felt like they were coming through her eyelids, they disorientated her and made her mind go fuzzy.

"Stupid fool!" she heard through her hands. She warily cracked one eye open to see standing in front of her, a very disgruntled Albel. The red lights made him look crueler and more sinister than he actually was, or maybe it was just the constant scowl that always seemed to be on his face.

Sophia looked behind him at the wall…well, what used to be considered a wall. The metal wall behind him was shredded to pieces and bent back by his claw, scraps of the wall lay to the floor. 'So that's the screeching I heard.' Sophia thought to herself, instantly feeling the embarrassment and pathetic-ness of how frightened she had gotten.

"What…What are you do-" She stuttered. She could see the disdain on his face as she stuttered and once again felt pathetic under his stare.

"Looking for a way out, isn't that obvious maggot?" He said with what she assumed to be a sneer.

"I'm sorry." She said in a heart beat, not really feeling sorry at all. It was one of those things that just became habit, it was something that she desperately wish she could stop.

"Don't apologize fool! Someone who apologizes all the time shows their insecurities about their own power." He seemed constantly annoyed with her. Even back on Elicoor II while they were in battles, even if she always healed him, he looked at her with such superiority and snide.

She said nothing to him, just shakily got back up to her feet, holding onto the rail for support. She ignored his criticizing stare and continued to stand up. What had set off the alarms? What had made the sudden lockdown? Questions she wanted to ask, but deciding not too after her early attempt of speech.

It was such a weird silence as she paced up and down the deck. She didn't attempt to talk, and neither did he. Instead he just walked over to the next available wall and started running his claw up and down it. This went on for another ten minutes, but each strike becoming more and more aggressive. Sophia just sighed and leaned against the metal rail waiting for him to be finished.

"We need to go." Albel stated out of nowhere, but this time, he spoke with a serious tone, a tone of someone who was about to go into battle. She didn't say anything for the hopes of not demeaning herself once again in his presence.

"Something's coming." He stared at the early hole he made, the one where he had entered, then stepped into the new hallway he had opened up, with out so much of a glance back to see if she followed.

"What's coming?" She asked quietly, half hoping he'd heard her, the other hoping he didn't.

"Why don't you go find out." He sneered as if it was the stupidest thing she could've said at the moment. She stopped walking and stared at the back of his head, somehow it was as if he could feel her eyes burning through his skull because he lazily turned around to look her in the eyes. Her anger, which was mostly made up of her embarrassment fumed inside of her.

Holding eye contact with him was something most grown men wouldn't be able to do for a long time, but the determination in her was something that couldn't be shaken.

"I don't know why you seem to hate me so much, but I want you to know that I'm done caring." Of course she wish she had said that, but what really came out was:

"I…I'm sorry." In a stutter and defeated tone, her face glowing red, this wasn't much of a problem since the red emergency lights were still on.

He didn't say anything, instead just turned around and kept on walking at a fast pace. Maybe it was because she really did feel something chasing them, or maybe it was because he told her something was coming, but she had a feeling of dread and anxiety in her as she tried to run/walk as fast as he was.

"Why are we running?" She blurted out and immediately wished she could take it back, but it was too late, he had heard her.

"Do I really need to spell it out for you fool?" He spat out without turning around to look at her. She bit back her tongue, which probably wouldn't have been able to say anything either way.

"We are both unarmed. Everything on this stupid piece of metal is locked. Something is coming. And right now everyone in the Bridge, where all the other fools are, can see us." He said angrily.

It was then when she noticed that the camera's in the hallway were all pointed directly at them, moving with them too. If it were possible, her face grew redder knowing that the rest of the group, the crew of the Diplo included, could see her humiliation as Albel shot her down each time she attempted to speak.

Diplo Main Bridge

"Dammit!" Maria brought her fist down hard on control panel. "Someone has to get a message out to them." She started yelling out orders to the crew.

"There has been an intrusion in block 12-0394 Ma'am!" An operator shouted out to Maria.

"Another one in block 24-0093" Mirage supplied.

"Will someone please work on getting the damn doors opened?! Unbelievable! Trapped in your own ship." She said shaking her head.

"You! Find out how this happened. Seal off all the main doors connected to those blocks!" Cliff took over the orders. Everyone was scrambling around the room, no one knowing exactly what to do. The sound of chaos was everywhere, the emergency siren, the frantic keyboards, the shouting of orders over the noise.

"I want visuals of whatever this thing is now!" Maria tried to speak over all the noise.

"Already on it." Mirage said, typing as fast as she can.

"…god…" Marietta stared at the screen. The room was shocked into silence, listening to the screams and wails coming from the screen.

The main screen now showed a live video feed from the areas that were broken into and the people who didn't make it out. There were creatures. Creatures that were difficult to describe. They looks like they might've once resembled some sort of human, they're faces deformed, as if it had been slashed up and down. Their skin deep red and burnt, They looked as if they had been skinned alive, their claws long and sharp. And the sound they made. The sound of a hyena's laugh, the just kept laughing.

"Somebody help!" a girl screamed her voice coming out fuzzy through the intercom. She was cowering in the corner crying out, knowing that nothing she could do would save her from her fate.

"Ahh! Let me out!" a man screamed clawing at the metal doors with his bare hands.

But that wasn't what was so horrifying. The Diplo crew that had not made it out of the ship were currently fighting against these monsters. You saw everything from the cowering girl in the corner of the hallway, to the man being eaten alive right in front of her. The screams and wails were too much. Just too much.

Fayt just stared at the monitors in misery. Albel and Sophia were currently on it. They weren't the only two people who weren't in the safety of the bridge, a handful of people weren't able to make it before the doors were sealed off and the sirens went off."

"I knew I should made her come with me!" Lieber said from right behind him. Fayt wheeled on him with out much of a warning.

"You left her alone with Albel!?" He practically screamed, Lieber backed off behind Cliff.

"Now's not the time kid. Let's just work on making sure those things don't get to them." Cliff said for the first time being real serious.

Nothing was said for the next five minutes, everyone just watching the live feed from the cameras as each person left alive on the screen screamed and cried for help.

"Lieber! Prep the mini subs. We have to evacuate." Maria ordered. Taking action, no one had moved or said anything. All went deadly quiet, making the screams from the monitors louder and louder.

"The moment we release the sealed doors everyone go to the pod docks. Don't look back and don't wait up." She shouted out loud enough for everyone to hear. No one made any movement of any kind.

"Maria…this ship was your life." Lieber said softly. Maria ignored him, keeping her eyes hard.

"You get left behind, then that's your problem." She said loudly, before shouting, "Mirage remote control prep the mini subs. Cliff divide everyone into groups. Make sure there's one sub left for Albel and Sophia in case the manage to make it. Everyone be prepared."

"Fayt, send a message to Sophia's communicator, tell her to take her Albel to the sub docks. Tell her we'll leave one left for them, but if they don't make it in time, then there's nothing else we can do." She said shortly.

Southern Hallways

Albel and Sophia were still walking down the hallway, but she had this feeling. This feeling of the need to run. She kept looking behind her to see because of this feeling, but every time she looked, there was nothing. Then she felt the vibration of her communicator in her pocket jingle it's little tune.

Albel heard a small gasp come from behind him. He turned around to see her holding one of those…small round things in her hand. "What maggot?" She didn't appear to have heard him.

"We have to go." She said shakily. He hated the way her voice got so unsure. It reminded him of all the other maggots back in Aquios that couldn't even look at him without going cross eyed with fear, although their fear did give him some sort of sick satisfaction.

"Doors opening. Please step away from the doors. Once again, Please step back. Doors are now opening."

Sophia's eyes went wide. Her face more frantic. Albel had had enough of this. He marched on over to her and took her roughly by the shoulders. Her eyes were shining again. Tear ready to fall.

"Albel we need to go! We need to go! Please! Come on, lets just go!" She started hyperventilating.

"Go where fool! Where!" He yelled at her. She cringed in his grip, she looked back behind her and started tried to move out of his hold.

"Evacuation." She said before running out of his grip and into the now open doors leading out to new hallways.

"Damned fool." He screamed after her, quickly catching up.

Sophia ran, turning corners, trying to remember the layout of the ship, avoiding the areas Fayt had sent her. When she looked on her communicator she saw everything. Everything.

"We need to get to a sub!" She told him frantically. She was about to round a corner when Albel caught up to her and grabbed her arm last minute, roughly pulling her back, holding her to his chest, covering her mouth with his hand. She made a tiny squeak, but otherwise didn't try to move, but didn't stop her from trying to speak through his hand.

"Shut up maggot." He whispered into her ear. And then she heard it, round the corner, there was a laugh. Not any human kind of laughter, it was high pitched and sounded like a broken record, being played over and over again.

Albel let go of her, after she realized what she had almost done. She was shaking, uncontrollably shaking.

"What do we do…" She whispered, hand covering her mouth, taking slow steps backwards.

"There has to be another way." She was talking to herself, gripping her scalp, as if trying to squeeze out any type of information that could help them. Then she suddenly looked up, "I've got it." She said.

She grabbed his hand taking him down the hallways they came from. For the first few turns Albel was preoccupied by the thought of her…touching him…it was….utterly despicable! For someone of her lowly rank to even look at him was a crime! And for so long he has put up with it, but this brought it to a whole new level! That she had the audacity to do something like this was unheard of! Yet, he didn't pull away just yet.

She navigated them through different halls and eventually came to a halt. Backing up slowly, she covered her eyes with her hands and Albel soon realized why. The way they had come upon had bodies, half eaten bodies. He could see her shoulders shake. Staring at the particular body still in a fetal position. These people died slowly.

"Let's go." Albel said gruffly. Pushing his way past her into the end of the hall into the sub docks. To him, he didn't see the bodies, he didn't see the pain they had been in before they died. She could see it though. She could see the madness in it, the twisted and sick reality of what had happened.

They entered the dock, seeing the one mini sub still left. Albel made his way towards it, opening the hatch and already walking in through the back when he realized the source of his problem wasn't following.

"We can't just leave them there." Sophia ground out through her shaking teeth.

"They're dead fool." He said with ease. She balled her fists and held her ground.

"No. We can't leave them." She said, eyes cast downward. She saw his eyes narrow and his glare intensify.

"Get in the damn metal contraption." Albel said as forcefully as she had. She held her ground, not letting her gaze waver.

"If I leave here without you, which I'm fully capable of doing with out any regret what so ever, then your little boy toy Fayt and the other fools will probably leave me out in this 'space' you speak of. This is for my own good. Not yours." He finished up, stretching out his claw, She saw him swing it, then everything went dark.

Tell me what you think. Too out of character? Review please. It would be much appreciated.