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06 June 2011 @ 04:50 pm
Unused Journey Chapter 1  
Might as well make use of this journal.

Here's the original, unfinished chapter 1 of Journey, so I can delete it from my fic folder. I figured it'd be fun for you to see how I had initially started the story. I didn't like how quickly Cid was becoming interested in Vincent, so I re-wrote it.

Title: Journey Chapter 1
Pages: 2



 “I don’t know what yer complaining about,” Cid retorted, emphasizing his words as he took a canteen of water from Barret and threw back a swig, washing down the bread rations of his dinner. He handed the container back to the dark man and cast his deep blue eyes to the youngest of their mismatch group. “Ration food is better than no food, kid.”

  “It’s dry,” Yuffie grimaced at the roll of bread in her hand. “We haven’t stopped anywhere for us to get some decent food in days.”

  “Any fuckin’ food is decent food,” Cid argued back mildly, chewing on his remaining roll and secretly wishing he had his own bottle of water. When they had escaped Rufus at Rocket Town four days ago Cid had been left with nothing but the clothes on his back and a packet of cigarettes under his goggles strap. He had been forced to share others’ food and drink, and had been meticulously careful in the control of smokes he used, saving them for as long as he could. No one else in the group smoked, so he was condemned to his single pack and half-empty match-box. Of course, his matches were not only to light his cigarettes, but to ignite the occasional fire for the cooler nights they had to endure.

 He had become a solid member of the team, Avalanche, in the past four days. It almost felt like he had known this weird bunch of assorted characters for years. They had accepted him more readily than he would have thought, surprising him with their kindness and open hearts. He had brushed the majority of it to the side, masking his gratitude with a gruff, nonchalant attitude, but he suspected the two older girls saw his real appreciation and respectfully acknowledged it silently. He bonded quickly with Barret, being only a few years younger than the beefy man and sharing some mutual interests. But they were also two head-strong guys who often found themselves arguing for a difference of opinion.

 Despite his previous leader figure in his hometown, he found it enjoyable to kick back in the group and follow orders for once. He didn’t interfere with Cloud’s choices unless asked, and he admired how the group worked together with his rule. He hadn’t been appointed leader, Cid could tell it had just happened.

  “There’s a small settlement in this area,” Cid began, having finished his meal that afternoon and leaning back on his hands. “We can stock up there.” The knowledge he had acquired of the land from his flying was valuable to the team. They had last stopped off at a village three days ago. It had been wilderness since. They had been following a lead on this Temple of Ancients that they had heard from the villagers, about a weapons maker located on the opposite side of the continent. The Tiny Bronco had taken them around the coasts until they had grounded her as near as Cid could recollect to their destination. They had passed by some amazing cliff locations, unseen until then. The planet had so many unexplored places and hidden wonders that they were sorry they couldn’t have stopped to enjoy them. Especially the girls. Tifa and Aeris had been so disappointed to leave the beautiful caves hidden under the cliffs near Cosmo Canyon. Cid suspected the enigmatic Vincent had, too. The pilot had never seen anything more than the man’s eyes above that cape mantel, but sometimes they held enough life in them for Cid to glimpse his moods.

 During their afternoon rest, having been walking since morning, they were now settled down for a rest and some nourishment. The silent man in the red cape had taken up guard duty. He rarely sat with them and he never ate. Not once had Cid seen him drink or speak a full sentence. When he had asked Cloud discreetly who had shoved the stick up Vincent’s ass, Cloud had given him an answer that surprised and quelled any further taunts.

 “We found him in a basement…”Cloud had answered, his tone and expression solemn and serious despite Cid’s oblivious and blunt question. “He’d been locked in a coffin…”

 Cid was taken aback. “What…?”

  “He’d been experimented on by Hojo,” Cloud had said bitterly, his blue eyes darkening. “Tortured.”

  “Tortured…?” Cid could only repeat. He had, like everyone else on the planet, heard of Professor Hojo and his genius, if not sometimes crazy, experiments.

 Cloud seemed to struggle with himself whether or not to say what he next did. “It might seem… impossible,” he began, caution in his tone, warning Cid that this was secret information between them, “but he’d been there for a long time, Cid… a
long time…Many years…”

 The pilot had been unable to control the look of disbelief on his tanned face, staring at Cloud as though he had confessed something terrible to him. In a way, he had. Cid didn’t know Vincent, but this news changed everything about how he saw him.

  “Cid,” Cloud had regained his wandered focus. Blue eyes had met blue eyes. “Things were done to him that… ” He’d hesitated. “… He’s not like us… just remember that,” Cloud had warned.
And the conversation had ended.

 That had been two days ago. Since that time Vincent had been on Cid’s mind constantly. What had that mad scientist done to him? Was his face disfigured – was that why he hid it? Did Cid really want to know? It was man’s curiosity that landed him in trouble, and Cid felt the same notion in this situation. Yet he couldn’t stop the curious thoughts. He had felt vague pity, initially. Somehow this excellent marksman had been captured and torture. That alone was enough to bring out the sympathy. But then he had realized after his secret observations of Vincent that the man was carrying his head high, despite his seclusion. He didn’t need pity; he radiated danger and dispelled feelings of sympathy. He was powerful, but he was guarding himself, pushing away human contact. Was he afraid of people? Cid had heard about torture victims; they feared others out of natural instinct, unable to realize that not everyone out there would harm them. He wondered if Vincent was reclusive because of this. It just seemed unlikely. Vincent had such a mysterious air about him. Cid’s pity had quickly given away to respect. Someone like that did not want prying curiosity, and Cid certainly wouldn’t hassle him. Let him recover on his own.

 His short fascination with Vincent had subsided after that, though he would often catch himself glancing subconsciously to where the red cape fluttered. But now, Cid and the team had more important matters. This Temple they were searching for was unknown to anyone they had come across, but someone had directed them to someone else who could give them information. Fingers were crossed they had a lead. During his time in the team, Cid had come to realize just what the planet was heading for, and how dangerous their future path was going to be. They could die. But no one seemed to dwell on it. Except maybe Vincent. He seemed to do nothing but think.

  “Let’s get going,” Cloud said. He was stood on a higher incline to where the rest of the team sat, looking down at the rest of the small forest from parted trees on their hilltop. He had eaten less than they had, and Cid began to think that people with Mako in their veins didn’t need as much sustenance as normal people. He had learnt that Cloud had come from Soldier, explaining his strange, bright eyes. People used to comment on Cid’s blue irises, but they were nothing on the hue of Cloud’s.

 Aeris climbed to her feet, brushing off bits of dirt particles from her pink dress. Tifa and Barret followed, patting themselves off, too. Nanaki rose to his four paws and gave a lithe stretch, flicking his fire-tip tail. Cid wondered if he could light his cigarettes on that small flame.

  “I can see a small village down there,” Aeris spoke up from her position next to Cloud, gazing down at the land below them. Everyone followed her pointed finger to some spot close to the tree line. At first no one could see anything, but when they looked closer they could spot the tops of a few buildings poking up from the green canopy, almost camouflaged.

  “Hurray!” Yuffie exclaimed exasperatedly.

  “Let’s get goin’ then,” Barret announced, taking the lead. The point they stood upon was too steep for them to descend, so he began a pathway following the edge, pushing through the wild undergrowth and trees.

  “Let’s go, Vincent,” Cloud called over to where their silent team member stood, half-hidden behind a variety of thin and thick trees sprouting from the earth.