A/N – Okay, this is pretty much the first fanfic I've ever posted, so any advice will be appreciated.

Disclaimer: Final Fantasy 7 is the property of Squaresoft, and I make no profit whatsoever from this fanfic. Sad, but true.

Prologue

They hated being on standby. Especially inside of a cramped, metal bunker in quite frankly the middle of a desolate wasteland – not that they weren't familiar with the landscape's appearance. The entire planet looked like that now, even though the Lifestream was still intact – thriving even...but that wasn't what was on these six soldiers' mind right now.

According to Command, there were about three thousand rebels heading their way, and only six squads were sent to hold this "precious" front line. None of them liked the sound of sitting in the middle of nowhere with said rebels acting more like a flood of fanatics than a regiment of troops, but they couldn't do much else about it; for most of them survival was the first thing on their minds, but it was also considered next to impossible for any normal person to hold a front line against three thousand specially trained people.

And that's why the six in this metal box were here: to level the playing field.

So far it had been well over four hours: no little black blots on the horizon, and only one of the squad members had succumbed to boredom; he was currently standing with his back leaning against the wall, reminiscing on what exactly he had done to get this far: every mission and all of his training played through his mind like a movie reel, and he slowly closed his eyes. Maybe he would actually get a little sleep before...

"Open fire!" The immediate shouting and artillery fire snapped Rollin out of the light daze that had begun to envelop him.

'The rebels must've finally started the assault on our fortified position,' he thought, assessing the situation in the bunker: Michael manned the turret to his right; Jack was firing off rounds with his submachine gun, holding down the trigger with a death grip even whilst reloading; Angela and Drammer picked off the more heavily armored targets with sniper rifles; and Lloyd launched the few remaining anti-tank missiles left, hoping they would connect with one of the many behemoths ahead. The BattleNet Comm. was awry with chatter, but eventually filtered out any noise not coming from the higher-ups.

"Listen up everyone:" Commander Saura ordered over the comm., "hold your position until I give the order to fall back to HQ. Understood?" She received multiple acknowledgments all at once. Rollin scoffed at the commander's order; he knew that she didn't give a rat's ass whether they all lived through this, so long as the result was victory.

He also knew about her morbid fear of being on the battlefield personally, which gave her the freedom of staying on a gigantic battlecruiser, far above the chaos, directing her little pawns to their deaths. 'She can stay up there for all I care.'

"You heard the lady: we're staying!" Michael shouted over the second artillery barrage, quickly taking control of the squad's situation, "Rollin: get on that turret, NOW!" Rollin nodded and dashed to the other turret as the enemy line (more like a flood) sped up to compensate. He held his finger on the trigger, not letting up for what felt like days, though the wave of troops seemed to move faster, not letting up at all. Suddenly, the commander's voice rang in his earpiece:

"Fall back! I repeat: fall back!"

Angela pulled the titanium door open violently and ran, leaving her now empty rifle behind on the floor. Seeing this, Michael held the door open and motioned everyone else out, exiting last. Jack whistled over the group's private channel.

"Damn, that's a ways off." He commented, keeping pace at a half-run, half-jog ('Always pointing out the obvious, aren't you?'). Drammer rolled his eyes.

"Best start running then." He replied, sprinting faster than most normal people could, thanks to the battle armor they wore. Jack laughed, and ran to catch up. Michael and Rollin followed after them, hoping that Angela wasn't too far ahead of them already. As they ran, they took the opportunity to take as many rebels out as they could with the limited amount of bullets each squad member had. Unfortunately, that ammunition didn't last too long, leaving them no choice but to get rid of their weapons and focus on the long sprint. Angela began to slow down to a halt and stared up at the sky–whenever she stopped what she was doing, it meant only one thing:

Something was wrong…horribly wrong.

Michael shot a glance upwards as well, and his jaw dropped at the sight: a tactical nuke. For those of you who don't know how tactical nukes are designed, they are meant to explode in mid-air, pushing down on anything below it with extreme force. In basic terms, it's a giant hammer of force with minor radiation to boot (as opposed to a regular nuke, which hits the ground, then explodes outward [with more radiation). Michael yelled for everyone to get down on the ground. Merely seconds later, it detonated (dangerously close to them, mind you), flattening everything under it as if a giant fist of pure energy came down on their heads. The squad, however, was only shaken up in the safety of their battle armor. Rollin looked up, and saw the carnage before him firsthand.

He woke up in a cold sweat, eyes now wide with fear.

Trying to calm himself, he looked around the room he occupied. 'Nothing like the battlefield I saw before,' Rollin thought to himself, slightly relaxing. He sat himself up on the quaint bed's edge, half expecting someone with a gun to bash the door in and start taking shots at him. He shook his head at the thought. 'Just a dream.' He took his time waking up completely, though he doubted that it was all in the past now. The scent of breakfast caught his attention, taking his mind off of everything else for the moment – his dreams could wait until he had a full stomach.

A/N – Well, there's the prologue...oh, and see that little blue rectangular button on the bottom left of the screen? Apparently it's good to use it – maybe write a review, some advice, or even a flame or two (depending on the story) – so have at it.

Until the next chapter (hopefully),

Lloyd Redgrave