A/N - Alright, here's update #2. Gotta make up for missing out on posting New Year's, after all. ;)

Disclaimer: Must I keep saying this? I don't own Final Fantasy 7...

Chapter 12

Yet again, he had proven that he was different from the rest, and yet again, he was shunned by everyone else in the camp. Normally, the drill sergeants would give those who went above and beyond a reward of some kind, but this was different; no one thought that he would be able to go up against one of the most elite of SOLDAT and actually come very close to victory, but he did.

Even more bizarre, he was merely eleven years old.

For the umpteenth time since he was drafted, Rollin realized that aside from Cody and Marle, his two other siblings that were brought here, he truly was alone. Walking down the dank alleyway provided by the many metallic supply depots built here, he toiled and wrestled with his own thoughts and new-found depression for dominance and control. Snapping out of his trance like movement through the darkness thanks to the shiver moving down his spine like lightning, he faintly heard the pulling of a pin and the clanking of metal on crudely paved road. He looked in the noise's direction and was greeted by a semi-blinding flash and shards of metal flying straight at him. Without time to react, the blast flung him back into one of the supply depots.

His consciousness slipped away from him momentarily, although he could still feel blood pouring out of his body at a slow rate. Eventually he regained consciousness and tried to open his eyes to survey the damage, but his eyelids would not budge. He tried again and again, but to no avail; it made him curious as to why his eyelids wouldn't move as they normally did. Cautiously, he moved his hands to his eyes and realized the grim truth:

There were pieces of shrapnel jammed into his eyes, effectively keeping his eyelids closed.

The pain finally settling in from his new handicap, Rollin screamed in agony. One of the soldiers on patrol heard this and came rushing to the scene, assessing the situation once he saw the grizzly sight.

"Holy hell, kid! What happened to you?" he asked, helping Rollin up from the ground. The boy tried to speak, but only a few muffled sobs came as his reply. The soldier shook his head in dismay, "Never mind the answer." He aided the younger one half walk, half drag himself into the open, and activated his comm. link, "HQ? Patrol here. I need a medic at my location immediately. I repeat: I need a medic over here!" Rollin began to fade back into unconsciousness again, and let the numbness coil around his mind freely.

He regained consciousness slowly, and used his hands to feel where exactly he was now: a tube, from the cramped feeling and the lack of space above him. Suddenly, it filled with a liquid; obviously, he was not able to tell what that fluid was at first, but once it reached his feet, he could feel the sting as if from thousands upon thousands of needles on every nerve on his body, slowly making its way upward. Rollin tried to hold his breath for as long as he could, but failed miserably as it entered and filled his lungs. Strangely enough he could still breathe, but the intensity of the stinging caused him to black out.

Again, he came back to the world of the living, unsure as to what happened to him. He brought his hands to his eyes, half expecting shards of metal to be embedded in his eyes still, and also half hoping that it was all a bad case of the nightmares; he felt no shrapnel, no cuts, gouges, or gashes, and nearly jumped out of where he lay in joy. Quickly opening his eyes, he was greeted not with normal sight, but rather with the same pitch-blackness of a closed eye. Fearing the worst, he felt where the orbs called his eyes should've been, only to be given the cold feeling of metal. Normally, he would have acted as if anyone else and cried and screamed until he couldn't speak anymore.

But, as he had proved time and time again, he wasn't normal.

"You seem to be taking this a hell of a lot better than most other people." He heard to his right; the same person that helped him get here, from the sound of things. Adjusting himself so he sat upright, he shook his head slowly.

"That's because I'm not like most other people." Rollin said, scornful of what he had become. He heard the soldier chuckle to himself, and walk over to him.

"Glad that I'm not alone." He replied. The boy tried to face in the right direction, and held his hand out in greeting.

"I'm Rollin." The other boy shook his hand with a grin on his face.


He awoke, though he kept his eyes shut in hopes of falling back into sleep, dreamless or not. He remembered the years that he had no eyesight, the constant and vigorous training he endured to be able to fight without the aid of his eyes, and the precious time spent on becoming accepted by some of the boot camp recruits; it was difficult, bearing in mind that he could fight better without his eyes than he could when he could still see, and also the fact that wearing a bandanna over his eyes (rather, where they should have been) made socializing considerably harder to do, although much easier than letting someone stare into two metallic orbs. Aside from that, it was also when he met Michael, Jack, and eventually Angela; probably the highlight of his time there: actually having friends.

The sound of footsteps broke his train of thought: not like anyone who stayed in this very room; in fact, he knew that only he was using this room, and the others in their ragtag group were fast asleep in their own beds (Red being stuck with the floor to deal with, of course). That information, coupled with the fact that only he had a key to this room, narrowed the possibilities to one: an impostor, maybe even an assassin. Inwardly, he grimaced.

That guy from before must have wanted to finish what he started.

The footsteps stopped at the left side of the bed he occupied, and he could hear a dagger being unsheathed. His mind visualized the rest of what was occurring, thanks to having the aforementioned 'lack-of-eyesight-training,' and he grabbed the man's arm that held the small blade inches above his throat, smirking as he did so.

"Did you really think that I was asleep?" Rollin questioned as he got up from the bed. The assassin tried to speak, but no words came; looking down at his arm, he noticed the green glow in the shape of an orb: 'Silence.' That voice in his head informed him.

Moving as quickly as he could, the assailant backed up then lunged at him leading with the weapon in hand and Rollin grabbed his opponent's wrist, twisting it and using his other elbow to break the man's arm. The man dropped the dagger at the twist, and tried to scream when his arm was shattered at the elbow joint, though no sound came from his throat; this gave the much younger man a chance to attack, and he punctuated on the moment by punching him in the side of the ribs, cracking a few of them. The man's face knitted itself into a mask filled with both pain and fear as his intended target walked over to him and knelt down beside he had fallen over.

"Right about now, I would have smashed your skull into fragments if it weren't for the fact that you were hired." Rollin spoke quietly trying to avoid awakening his new friends, and an unnatural, vibrant red glow leaked into and started to take over the dull grey of his eyes. Picking the man up with both of his hands by the shirt and belt, he carried him over to the window, a mischievous grin growing on his face, "So, I've decided that the pavement can do that for me." Opening the window, he threw the man out to fall two stories and onto the pavement with a loud smack.

Luckily, he shut the window before the man came in contact, thus dampening the sound to barely audible from inside. The red glow in his eyes had faded by this time as well, as if a different part of him had surfaced to do what he would of hesitated to do. Instantly fatigued after the adrenaline rush he had went through, he climbed back into bed and tried to sleep off the rest of the night.

A/N - Hmm...wonder how that came about, huh? Well,

Until next chapter,

Lloyd Redgrave