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So I Pulled
by Ersatz Sobriquet


What, do you own the world?!

How do you own disorder, disorder?!

System of a Down- Toxicity



I stared at the piece of paper long and hard. I didn't want to believe. I knew it couldn’t be true. But that's what it said. I searched for typos as I scanned the page over and over again, hoping to make it seem wrong in some way. But what it said was true. And she was gone. The one person that I can ever remember loving me was gone.


It was all his fault and I knew it. I tried and tried to be the best SeeD I could be, but look where it got me. She didn't have to go like that. They trained me to protect people. So why couldn't I protect her? I should have. But I didn't and this is what happened.


Protect and serve. Serve and protect. That's what we do. And we do it for a price. It's usually gil. But occasionally it's life. But it’s never ours. Never. That’s too easy of a scapegoat. No, it’s everyone else. And this life we pay for doesn’t faze anyone. It doesn’t make so much as dent in our lives. SeeDs lives. That’s not normal. It doesn’t even become human anymore. To lose apart of your humanity all in the pursuit of justice makes you no better than those that you kill. And for it to lead up to that is worse than killing itself. 



It was a hard week for everyone in Balamb Garden. The new assignments were pouring in and there weren’t nearly enough SeeD’s to fill them all in. There shouldn’t have been this many missions to go on, especially after the death of Ultimecia. But violence is forever in this world, and the SeeD’s help was needed.


Squall sat behind his desk and continued to go through the papers, trying to figure out a way to bring the Garden more money. Even with all the missions that were being conducted and with the money brought in from each, the Garden was still in a slump. They needed money. Badly. And Squall didn’t know how to achieve that goal.

He wondered how Headmaster Cid was able to fund the Garden all those years without seemingly a hitch the whole while. Maybe he dug into his own pockets half the time. Made up for any losses. But, he didn’t know. Scolded himself many times for not receiving more instruction about this type of thing from Headmaster Cid before he left him in command.


Squall hated to feel like he was doing an average job. He never did anything in average fashion. He was the best. He knew it and so did everyone else. And that became expectant of him. To be the best that he could be. If he couldn’t do something as well as he knew he could, then he would give up. But he just couldn’t “give up” on this assignment. Headmaster Cid wouldn’t have left this in his hands if he didn’t think he’d be capable of handling the situation. So he just stuck it out and tried to deal with all the problems the best way he could.


As he sat there ‘mongst the papers, trying to sort everything out, the reports from the last few missions came in. The candidate left them on the sofa per Squall’s request and hurriedly left the room. The candidate didn’t feel worthy at all in being in the presence of such a honored man. Another thing that troubled Squall was things like that. What the young candidate just did. Feared him some because he thought he wasn’t worthy to be near someone who “slay the evil witch”. But he was no different than any of the other SeeD’s and wished they could see that as well.


Sighing, Squall went over to the sofa and sat down, trying to feel more relaxed than he had been. That desk and chair was so formal. So official. He wasn’t really feeling like being in an official mood that day, though. Not that he ever feels like being in an official mood.

He picked the papers up and started thumbing through them.


Mission Report #2338

Mission: Secure threat in Dollet

Success Rate: High

Tremp McDowell: Returned, no injuries

Regnis Finner: Returned, minor bruises on left arm.

Gil Received: 500

Notes: None


500 gil? Squall thought. He shook his head slightly. This was why SeeD was always in such a slump, hurting for cash. He read on, though.


Mission Report #2336

Mission: Escort Senator Flemmingway to Esther

Success Rate: High

Joseph Kane: Returned, no injuries

Michael Junno: Returned, no injuries

Gil Received: 2050

Notes: None


The reports like that continued on until he came to one that was a bit disturbing. A bit shocking.


Mission Report #2893

Mission: Apprehend Escaped Convict Assumed to be in Balamb Town

Success Rate: High

Yinne Tang: Returned, no injuries

Richard Lardly: Returned, no injuries

Gil Received: 1500

Notes: Three (3) civilian casualties resulted as SeeD members tried to apprehend the criminal. Criminal killed the following people in chase:


And then the list of names, with one of the names standing out more so than all the others. Squall closed his eyes. No. Hyne, no... No.


He looked back at the paper as the name refused to change. “Dincht.” he whispered.



I knew it to be around there somewhere. That was where he usually kept all his lovelies. He prided them and cherished them. And why wouldn't he? They are a sight to behold.


It took me a while, but there they rested some. Leaning against the wall in his closet, a rather unsuitable place to place them. Thought that they would be displayed the very least on his walls, but they were dust free, shinning some even.


I heard a voice from behind call my name. I didn't think that he would actually show up here. I turned and saw him smiling, saying something. I don't really remember what it was too well, but he didn't suspect anything. Didn't matter, though.


I went to him and let him have it real good in the stomach and he reeled to the floor in shock that I did it. I don't know why, though. Considering what happened. Considering what I lost...


That's when the music came surging up within the innermost workings of my mind. Loud, intrusive music, that song. It wouldn't go away and my anger seemed to intensify all the while. I needed a release... and looky who was in front of me.


I kicked him in the side and then tossed him across the room. He smashed into the mirror that lay opposite of us. I walked over and began swinging, his face rocking back and forth without control as I didn't let up. I did it until he was gone. Until he slipped away.


Relief Effort #1: Success.


I had to do it, you see? They can’t just go around thinking that their twisted ideas of heroism was fine and dandy. They weren't heroes. They were the villains. But I don’t really blame them. They were programmed to think this way.


I walked to the closet and gathered the lovely in my arms. It was heavy, that's for sure, but it was full. Ready to be released from it's burden. It was necessary I do this thing, you understand?


No one else will.



“Did you hear?” Rinoa asked Selphie as she sat down with a plate full of food.

Selphie looked and realized Rinoa was talking to her and swallowed the food in her mouth before replying. “About Zell?” she began. Noting Rinoa’s nod, she continued, “Yeah. It kinda caught me off guard, you know? I like Zell a lot and I don’t know how this is gonna effect him.”


Rinoa agreed. “I don’t like to see him when he’s sad. Never looked right on him. So used to seeing that smile.” She stopped and started swirling around her applesauce in her plastic bowl. “Remember that last party that you threw Selp? The hotdog eating contest you had?”

Selphie nodded. “His mouth was so full of hotdogs, I knew he was gonna win!” She smiled some as that night continued to play back in her mind. It was a little over two weeks ago when she threw the party. She realized the students were in a pretty bad shape, what with finals and more and more missions pouring in. After talking to Squall, it was agreed that a party like that would boost the morale some. Even though Zell was so happy that night, winning the contest and eating good food, his happiness was short lived.


“Can I talk to you for a minute, Selp?” Zell had asked her, motioning her to follow him outside the party. She complied and they began walking on the deck of Balamb Garden, overlooking the northern sea as the Garden glided along the currents. The night was starry and the air was crisp, being the perfect moment Zell could think to ask her.


Zell walked a few paces and stopped, looking out into the sea gathering up inner courage to do the thing he was about to do. Selphie stopped with him and waited for a few moments before she realized that Zell hadn’t said anything. Looking at him, she asked, “Uh, Zell? You wanted to talk to me?”


“Oh, yeah! Heh. Yeah, Selp.” Zell started. Stalling wasn’t his forte, and neither was doing a hard thing like this. He knew his feelings for her weren’t going to wane anytime soon. He tried, oh only Hyne knows how hard he’s tried to leave these feelings of her at the doorstop of his heart. But they wouldn’t agree to such terms. They wouldn’t ever and he might as well do it. Ask her. What’s the worst she could say? A question from inside him asked.


She might laugh in my face. He answered himself.


So she laughs in your face. You gave it your best shot and then you move on. Simple as that. What are you, some sort of chicken wuss? The voice inside questioned.


That’s not funny.


Who’s laughing? It asked again.


Zell wanted to ask her this for a while coming now. Wanted only for Selphie to be his. But he didn’t want to look stupid too. He knew about Irvine’s interest in her. And why some smooth lady killer like him would want Selphie, silly as she was confused even Zell. So he went and asked him. Asked Irvine what the deal was with him and Selphie.


Nothing, was his reply. That took Zell for a shock, almost certain that those two would be together, or thinking of it, but this did afford him a nice opportunity. A chance to be with the one that kept him up countless of nights. The only one he worried about when she went out for away missions, hoping she wouldn’t be on the causality list.

Selphie. What a beautiful name. A beautiful woman. Selphie.


“Zell?” Selphie said, placing a hand on his shoulder. Waking him up from his thoughts, Zell looked at her again, smiling as usual. “You wanted to talk to me, Zell. C’mon, we’re missing the party!”


Selphie. Oblivious to what he wanted to ask her.


He didn’t know how to ask her. So he would just say whatever thoughts managed to ram through his psyche.


“Selphie. I. I really want you to know that.” Zell began, barely looking into her eyes. “Well, you’ve been the only one that I’ve felt comfortable around. The only one that seemed to know me. About who I am and stuff.”


Stuff? Why did I say “stuff”?


Continuing on, fiddling with his hands, he said, “What I’m trying to say is that I really like you. And, I’d like you to be my girlfriend.”

There! I said it. It was inanely cheesy, but I said it!


And Selphie just stood there, a bit shocked at what Zell just asked her. Didn’t he know? Didn’t the whole Garden know?


Selphie’s mouth hanged for a while as the thoughts and implications of what Zell was confessing began to sink in. Sure she always “felt” like there was a connection between the two of them, but she didn’t think Zell would ever ask her. Ever confide in her the way he just did.

Because she thought this would be an impossible thing… she went with her second choice.


“I’m… I’m sorry, Zell.” Selphie started, now unable to look him in the eyes. “But, Irvine already asked me… to be with him.” And she just left it at that.


Zell was so confused. So unsure of what was just going on.


What’s up with you and Selphie?




That’s what he asked. That’s what he replied. He clearly said that nothing was going on… So why did he go and ask her? Why isn’t she with him now? It didn’t make sense, and now he felt like a fool.


They both stood there, the ground proving to be more bearable to look at at the time. Selphie wanted to tell him that she did like him a lot, though. That he would have been her first pick if he asked sooner. But, what kind of consolation would that be?

It felt like hours if it was only a few minutes as they stood there, both unsure of what to say next.


You’re a idiot, ya know? That voice told Zell. Chicken wuss idiot.


Zell mumbled out, “Oh, I see. Well. Sorry to bother you. You know, pull you away from the party like that.” He started scratching the back of his head, as the ground continued to be of high entertainment value. “I’ll let you get back to that party.”


She didn’t like these kinds of situations. These kinds of confrontations. “Don’t feel bad, Zell. I really…” she started before she was cut off.


“No, don’t worry about it!” Zell smiled, finally looking up. “Don’t worry about it, Selp. I just. Ya know? It’s nothing.” The smile was so painful to hold, so difficult.


Selphie too, struggled to hold her smile.


“Let’s get back to that party, Selphie.” Zell said as they started back to the party.


That was probably the start of it all. The start of Zell’s utter lack for, well, zeal. For enjoyment in life. He changed a lot since that day, and no one really knew what the reason was. Well, a few people did.


Selphie just stared at her food as she couldn’t help but think that she was the reason Zell was going through his stage. Rinoa examined Selphie’s features and sensed what was going through her mind.


“Your thinking about it again, aren’t you?” she asked.


Rinoa was the only other person Selphie told about that night. Well, her and Quistis. Irvine might do something silly if he found out. Squall would probably blankly stare as he realized that she told him that to comfort her. Any other student would have gossiped about the matter, which was not what was needed at the time.


She only nodded to her question, though. First she breaks Zell’s heart and now this. This news. She didn’t know what this would do to him.


“I never thought Zell could ever be depressed over anything.” Selphie started, staring at her fork and then off into the lunchroom. “It just. It just never seemed to be his emotion, ya know? For him to be depressed. Like he could never experience it. Anything at all depressing, ya know? He would get mad whenever Seifer would tease him, but who wouldn’t?”


Rinoa smiled while Selphie still held her long face.


“He tries to hide it, but I can tell. You can, too, right?” she looked up, noting her nod in agreement. “I should have never said yes to Irvine. I should have waited for him. However long it would have taken.” She spoke. Sighing, she looked back at Rinoa, still eating her food without qualms. “Do you think he’s gonna do anything… I don’t know, stupid when he finds out? Like quit Garden altogether?”


Rinoa looked surprised when she said that. “Why would he do something like that?”


“I dunno. Students have been saying stuff like Zell thinks the Garden is all wrong and stuff like that. Like he wasn’t meant to be apart of it or something.”


Rinoa still looked shocked. “He has? Since when?”

”A little after that day…” she trailed, still wondering what kind of repercussions would result because of this.


“I never knew about that. Why would he say such things?”


“I dunno.” She replied, her voice low, trailing off with each word. She really did like him. Was probably using Irvine as filler the whole time. Until the time was right? No. Until she got tired of him? No.


It was probably that she never thought Irvine would truly want to be with her. And once he realized that, she would go to Zell. That’s what she was probably thinking all along. Wait until the time was right to be with whom she was destined for. But it was all so disconcerting. Whenever she thought back to that night, it always seemed to be disconcerting.


Was it wrong to think that way about Zell? Use him as a backup plan? Probably not, but, what else could she do? When Irvine asked her to be with him, no one had ever asked her out like that. Ever. She didn’t know how to respond. She certainly didn’t want to hurt his feelings. So she said “Yes”.


“I think we should really find out what’s going on with Zell. This might really crush him.” Rinoa said. But her words were just an echo by that time. Nothing more than a shell making noise to Selphie. She probably hurt Zell more than she’ll ever know. The one person she truly cared about. That she, seemingly loved.



It wasn't difficult at all. I just pulled the trigger. The trigger was pretty easy to tug, nothing hard at all. I just pulled back and BAM! It was over. It was a bit messy, I will give that to you, but it never is any different.


Once I pulled, and felt that cock jack back in my hand, that's when the melodies began to run around my head. The songs I heard before, they come screaming back to me like some crazy banshee. That's what happened again here. When I pulled.


Anything heavy is played, anything with guitars. Heavy guitars and a drumbeat that won't quit. I like the sounds they make, the guitars and drums. They never miss a beat and keep me going.


It was a bit funny how she looked the whole while. She was crying, face wet and dripping with perspiration. Her black hair stuck to her face some and she struggled to breathe, the excitement being too much, I guess. She said some funny things, like I shouldn't do such a thing. What I was thinking of doing to her was wrong.




Like what we've been doing for the past years isn't? Like we have reason to do the things we do for some quick cash? I don't want to live this kind of life. It ain't fit for a human being. It ain't even fit for a lame canine.


I didn’t want to do it to her. I always liked her. But she walked right in on me. Couldn’t let her run off like some scared little girl. So, I solved two problems at once. Relived her of this life and silenced her all at once. You understand, don’t you? She’s a witch anyway, and she might go all evil on us later on.


So I pulled. Makes sense to you now? That's why I pulled.


Relief Effort #2: Success.



He mechanically walked down the long hallway, passing SeeD students who all looked alike to him. Some walked the halls with pride, others with gladness for being there, living a life to protect people. He saw young girls, maybe not even fourteen years of age smiling talking to their friends about whatever inane thing girls talked about at that age. And he felt sorry for all of them.


Pity that they wouldn’t live to have a normal life that kids should have. A life where there were no disasters. No emergencies. A life where they could be with the ones they loved. Be with that special someone.


And that’s when that sorrow turned into anger. Because he knew that they would experience all those things and much more. Their lives would be ones with fulfillment to some extent. Much more than his felt like at the moment.


No, he didn’t feel sorry for those kids. He was feeling sorry for himself.


Zell wasn’t in the hottest mood that day. Hadn’t been for quiet sometime. Since that day, maybe? The day that he was shot down by the one girl whom he thought was incapable of doing such a thing?




He dreaded for weeks before he asked her, staying up late into the night wondering how he should go about it. Trying to come up with the best way to ask her. He scribbled down his script, various forms and versions that would best suit the situation. He never knew that the urge would come up at such an unexpectant time. Especially after winning that contest.


But she was so radiant that night. She sported a light blue pullover shirt that matched her cut off jean shorts. Her shoes were nothing spectacular, some simple flip flops, but by gods she looked amazing to him. Every time Zell saw her, her beauty became greater and greater in his eyes. She was even more fun than she could have ever been, and she always seemed to have a flair for making others feel worth something.


As he did when he was around her.


He needed to ask her. And he was sure that she would be his. Oh, he had his doubts before, thinking that Irvine was also interested in her. Irvine became to be a pretty good buddy to Zell and he didn’t want anything to come between the two of them. So he made certain things would be cool.


“What’s up with you and Selphie?” he remembered asking.

The cowboy just gave him an inquisitive look and asked what he meant.


“Like, are you two, ya know. Going out?”


He smiled at that remark, continuing to polish his shotgun. “Nope. Can’t say that I am.”


“So, nothings going on?”


“Nothing.” He replied, still smiling.


And that was that. And then come to find out that he was going with her. It couldn’t have been longer than three days since Zell asked Irvine that thing. So what did that mean? Did he get the idea Zell was thinking about her? That he wanted her, too? So he just took her like that?


Zell continued to sigh as he walked down the corridor, still confused and sadden by the whole situation. Staring at the floor, the clean reflective surfaced shone back his beguiling expression, that same look he’d been carrying for years. Happy, carefree, no pain, no hurt. No sorrow. Nothing negative.


A few SeeD students he passed waved and shouted out his name. He gave them a respectful smile and waved back.


They like you. Why doesn’t she? He would question himself.


She probably did and you just took too long. Another voice would interject and say.


He wanted to tell her for the longest. It wasn’t like he was avoiding it or anything. In his mind, the time was never right. So why force it? Asking that question, he always came to the conclusion that he shouldn’t. So he didn’t.


The library chick was cool. He thought she would be the one for him. But, after he finished making up reasons to go to the library, noticing her, the way she handled things, he just didn’t think she could compare to Selphie.

That’s how most of the girls he considered were viewed in his eyes. They all were compared to Selphie.


She doesn’t smile like her.

She doesn’t wear her hair like her.


She doesn’t care for parties.


She wouldn’t like to just hang.


They were all compared to her in the tinniest fashion that way, stopping him from trying a awful lot.

Zell Dincht. People thought he was less complicating than this. A lot less.


Zell finally reached his room, exhausted from the teaching he’d been doing lately. He slipped the key card through the security slot as his door slid open with a slight hiss. Stepping in, door closing behind him, he took off his black sweatshirt and tossed it on the floor, walking over to his bed before collapsing on it.


After Ultimecia’s defeat, him, Quistis, and Irvine were upped to teaching status quickly. Knowledge in fighting the sorceress and the input they could provide was something not even a textbook could offer. They all accepted the positions and began their assignments immediately. Zell, though, didn’t realize what hard work was involved. He even forgot how hard some students could be to teach. Remembering how rambunctious he was should have reminded him enough.


As he lay there for a while, trying to figure out a way to get over her, a beep came from his door. Pushing a button on his desk, the door slid open with Squall on the other side. Sitting up, Zell smiled some and said, “Hey man. What are you doing here? The students haven’t been complaining again, have they?”


Squall remained emotionless, staring at Zell through dejected eyes the whole while. This was a very painful thing for him to do. Something he loathed for a while. But he couldn’t put it off any longer. The excuses were not even worth mentioning. He stepped through the door and walked a few paces before stopping. Zell’s smile soon disappeared as he noticed Squall’s solemn look. He wasn’t mad at him, as far as he could tell. But he wasn’t... He didn’t know what it was.


“Are you okay, Squall?” Zell asked, worried that whatever it was he wasn’t going to like it.


Squall was no good at these type of things. He only handed him the piece of paper that he had concealed behind his back the whole while and turned to leave. After he got on the other side of the door again, Squall turned his head so Zell could hear him mumble the few words he spoke.


“I’m… sorry….” And that was all before he walked away.


Zell sat there, still confused at what this was all about. He leant over his bed and pressed the button again on his desk to close the door and propped himself up to look at the paper Squall left him. Unfolding the it, he knew it to be the weekly SeeD reports. Reading it, he couldn’t believe what it said.


Mission Report #2893

Mission: Apprehend Escaped Convict Assumed to be in Balamb Town

Success Rate: High

Yinne Tang: Returned, no injuries

Richard Lardly: Returned, no injuries

Gil Received: 1500

Notes: Three (3) civilian casualties resulted as SeeD members tried to apprehend the criminal. Criminal killed the following people in chase:

Finttly Coral

Smith James Lootin

Emily Dincht


Emily Dincht. Emily Dincht? My mom???



There he was, sitting behind his desk looking all important like he always does. All those papers filtering around his desk. He's a big man. He has important work that must be done. He has to assign, assign, assign. There's many people to murder, ya know?


He looked a bit surprised to see me when he finally decided to look up. I think he said something to me. I don't really remember or care though. I smiled as I held up the gun.


That's when I realized that I forgot to clean the blood off it before after letting her have it, the fresh blood still dripping off it so. So smooth and like... unreal.


He acted surprised. Can you believe it?! The little fagot acted surprised. Why wouldn't I do this, eh? It's his fault she's dead. His fault my only family member is now gone.


He had to pay, you understand these things. But more than anything, he needed to leave this kind of life. He needed better.


I pulled the trigger. It wasn't too bad this time. The shock of the cock wasn't that great, so I decided I'd pull again. Both shots were great, connecting with his head and the right side of his chest. He just slouched in his chair like a big ol' stinky man.


Relief Effort #3: Success.


My mom was dead because of him. I had to pull the trigger, you understand? I had to pull.



She seemed to be some sort of prize, an unattainable reward for all his hard work.  No other person did he have feelings like this for in his life. He loved her and only wanted to be with her. For her to want to love him too was one of his greatest wishes. To try and achieve this was the only thing he sought.


She was Selphie Tilmitt.


The only one that cared for him. The only one that looked out for him. Wished for no harm to befall him, though she knew him to find trouble. The last one to give up and the first one to offer support. She was the one to push him onward, hoping that his life would be a full one. She loved him as if he was her own son.


She was Emily Dincht.


The two women in Zell’s life was snatched away with such ferocity in such a short while that even he couldn’t believe it. He’d walked in a daze for weeks now, wondering if he really said the thing to Selphie. If she had really told him she was with him. And it was so true. It burned and hurt so much because of that.


And then the one woman that cared for him constantly. That person that made Zell feel appreciative of who he was, making him the happy, eager young fellow he turned out to be. His mother. Adoptive, it was true. But she was more motherly than anyone could have ever been to him.

And she was gone. She was taken away from him. Just like Irvine took Selphie away from him.


Tears continued to streak down the sides of his face as he continued staring at the paper, thinking that it wasn’t true. Thinking that it was all a lie. This was a cruel joke if Squall was playing with him. A cruel joke.


But Squall rarely joked. And wouldn’t do so with something this serious. This grave. He continued to replay the image of Squall handing the paper to him, the solemn look. The empty expression his eyes had, as they tried to avoid his.


It was no joke and she was gone. More things taken from him.

And this made him angrier than ever. How dare Squall treat her like this?! His thoughts screamed. Like she was just another report victim! Not even enough balls to tell me. To comfort me...


His thoughts were a jumble from there as images of his mom were mixed with images of Selphie, Irvine, and Seifer. They swam through his head, trying to be as indistinct as they possibly could.. He didn’t know why he would pop in his mind, Seifer. But he was laughing the whole while. Mocking him.


Laughing and mocking.


And he hated it all and realized what it was that he hated most of all. It all made sense to him.




It was all Garden’s fault. His mom died because of Garden. Garden introduced him to Selphie and then wouldn’t allow him the pleasure to be with her. Garden took his mom away. Garden was evil, as worse as the witches. It was all Garden’s fault.


He walked over to his closet, the paper long since been discarded and thrown about the room, and found something to wear. He needed to clear his head. Think about this some more. Try to make some reason out of all this. He… he didn’t really know what to think at the moment. And he didn’t feel like thinking.



You kill the queen bee and the workers don't know what to do. Kinda like looping off a chicken’s head. It'll just run around trying to figure out what it's there for. Trying to figure out what to do with itself. And of course there is nothing that can be done. Nothing but for me to clean up the mess.


And these SeeDs need some serious cleaning to be done. Squall was gone and I thought this would make things a lot easier.


I walked to the Quad. There were so many kids walking around, thinking that this profession... no, this murderous life was all fine and dandy. Like this was the way people should live.


I saw a kid off to the side reading SeeDs Growing In This Garden. I remember that book. They have you read it, trying to help you understand your position in the world and why it's important for you to be a SeeD. The whole meaning of it all.


And it's just following up on all the lies they fed you as you grow up here. All lies and no truths. Truths that those you love are the ones who get hurt the most, not you. Truths that no matter what, you should kill and kill as long as "peace" ensues. Truths that you do loose something when you become a SeeD. Apart of your soul leaves you. Moral codes escape you and you degrade into something worse than you ever imagine.


It's a sad thing. And I hate it. What I've become. I hate it so much.


He needed quick relief, I gathered, and I went to him first. I raised my gun, and shot. The bullet lodged itself in his head and he was no more, blood spewing from his head signaling that fact.


Relief Effort #4: Success.


That's when people began to scream and panic. They scattered faster than wildfire, but I still got some. One in the back; one in the leg, followed by a shot to the head; one in the head; one in the chest.


Relief Effort #5, #6, #7, #8: Success.


But that was no good. I couldn't get them all. I realized that a bit too late. I was running out of bullets as well. I forgot all about the guards as they ran towards me. Plus that same song began playing in my head once more. That music that wouldn't stop and that became louder and louder.


And that's when I heard the voices along with the music sing along.


"Bullets to the brain,

Can't really complain.

Look at them dead,

Look at them dressed in red.

Some pain is released,

But not enough for my soul to be appeased."


It made me laugh a bit. This song in my head. This song that had a vague meaning in my head. I wanted to free people from their tragic upbringings. I needed them to know that there was more to life than what they would ever see. This was the best way, I believed though others seemed to think otherwise.


That's why I pulled. I needed these ones to live a life that wouldn't cause them that much pain. That much suffering. This was the best way, you see? It's not difficult to understand at all.


I was able to relieve a few more before they got me.


Relief Effort #9, #10, #11, #12, #13: Success


But at least I freed the few I got. I even helped relieved one of the guards as they tackled me.


Relief Effort #14: Success


I just regret not being able to relieve more, you understand?



The Quad was bustling with students who were totally clueless, Zell concluded as he observed them from the second level. Totally clueless that the Garden was going to destroy something precious to them. Something great to them and they would feel helpless. They wouldn’t know how to handle it. How to deal with it when it happens. And they’ll be shocked to find out that Garden doesn’t care.


No one cares.


Squall was out of line. He should have tried to comfort me at the very least. And Seifer calls me a chicken wuss.


Zell wore nothing but a pleasant expression wherever he went. He was happy, felt good about himself and his accomplishments. But it was all slipping away as soon as his feelings for Selphie intensified. Soon after that night with Selphie, Zell forced that same expression to stay put. It was hard, but he managed.

The news of his mom was too much, though. He couldn’t keep his inner feelings hidden any longer. No longer could he hold on to that smile he wore for so long. A frown furrowed it’s way on his forehead that wouldn’t leave as his grip on the railing tightened.


It wasn’t fair and he wanted to rectify this mistake. And his thoughts continued to come swirling back to that same central thought. The Garden. The Garden. This Garden needs to go. It needs to be destroyed.


What a thought, though and he couldn’t believe that he was thinking it. He let go of the rail and started walking, stuffing his hands in his pockets and staring at the ground, looking at his expression once more. The one that was so apparent and obvious as to how he felt inside.


Destroy the Garden? But it brought me to meet so many new friends, he tried to reason.


And who’s here to comfort you of your loss? A voice replied.


But, if it weren’t for the Garden, I would have never met Selphie, he again tried to rationalize.


…who doesn’t want you. Garden showed you a prize you had no chance of obtaining. The voice snapped back.


But… and he couldn’t make a defense for that somewhat sound reason.


And guess who took her away from you? Irvine. Whom the Garden also introduced you to. The voice spoke with more assurance.


Disappointment loomed over him as that thought sank in his head once more.


And your mom is dead because of the Garden. Your mom is dead and your “best friend” Squall didn’t seem to care. It spoke, a smile it would have held if it possessed a body. He didn’t care and the Garden doesn’t care.


Anger surged up within Zell as he stopped and thought about that. Thought about how true those words seemed. It was all so true. So true it hurt. Through tears and rage, Zell slammed his fist into the wall, his inner pain masking the physical pain he should have suffered as small drops of blood dotted his knuckles.


This pain needed to be released. This Garden. This façade of helping people was sickening him and he wanted it to go away. Wanted those kids to stop living lies. Stop the lies all together.

He looked at the door tag he stood in front of.


Irvine Kinneas.


A small smile crept to the side of his mouth.


“Of course,” he whispered. “Why wouldn’t I stop here?” noting the irony. The one man he wished would go away, here his troubled thoughts ended up leading him. To his very room. And then all his thoughts seemed to mesh and blend together to form one deliciously somewhat evil idea.


He stooped down to the control panel and undid the hinges of it to get to a control panel that all the doors to the Garden possessed. Zell was no tech genius, but he locked his keycard in his room more than once before be became a SeeD. He didn’t realize how easy it was to break into a room, and was going to inform Squall to make the security tighter, but always forgot to do so. Absentmindedness was his trademark.


After making a few more changes, the door slid open. Pleased, Zell walked in, not even caring if anyone else saw what he was doing. He scanned the room and wondered where he might have kept it. Nothing on the walls or under the bed, so he went to the closet and pushed aside some clothes and that same coat Irvine always wore and saw it. Glimmering, it seemed, by the few rays of light the halogen bulbs produced. Irvine’s shotgun.


Why do you look so surprised, Quis? So shocked I could do something like this? C’mon. You know as well as I do that this life... this life we call SeeD. It isn’t fit for us kids. We shouldn’t be doing this just for a quick buck.

They raise us to be killers, Quis. To go around and kill others for money in the façade of calling it protecting people can’t be good. It can’t be, and I don’t think I’m the first one to realize that.

I don’t know when it was that I realized exactly that what we were doing was wrong. Was a bit misplaced in it’s thinking. The thought of hiring mercenaries, them walking around like everything is normal. This isn’t the way the world is, Quis. Not until the Sorceress arrived did Garden’s really take flight. But that’s all over now. Sure if nations and cities have their problems they can turn to the public authorities. But not us. I never knew having a license to kill was so easy to obtain nowadays, Quis. This shouldn’t be.

Don’t go on and say that my mom’s death was the reason for me doing this, cause it’s not. It helped my cause a bit more, but it’s not the sole reason. It’s the right thing to do, is all.


Of course I realize that there are more Gardens than this one. Sure. But you gotta start somewhere, right? Might as well start with the most popular one. I’ll get to the rest eventually. Maybe find a way to bomb the places. That’s a real quick end to these... cadets misery.


So why don’t you release me, huh? Get me out of these ropes and such. I have a few more people to relieve of their eternal blind misery. C’mon Quis.



Who told you about that? Told you about Selphie?


She did?!


Yeah… I love her. I love her to death. And no, her rejecting me isn’t why I did it. Garden… is all… WRONG!!!


Don’t say that! You don’t know anything! You don’t know about anything! My mom and Selphie have nothing to do with what I did. Nothing!

I hate being alone. Hate what the Garden’s made me. Hate what Irvine did to me. Lied to me. Said that he wasn’t with her. Wasn’t going to be with her. Hate how the Garden killed my mom. Hate how the Garden introduced me to a wonderful girl that I love and care for, but won’t allow me the satisfaction of being with her. I hate it all.


So when I took the gun in my hands, I knew what I had to do. I wanted to end all the things that caused me so much suffering. I wanted it to all go away like ice melting away on a hot, hazy day. I wanted to dissolve myself from it’s misery.

So are you happy now? I wanted to free myself from this mess.


So I pulled.





Notes D’ Auteur



There you go. The thoughts and feelings I felt Zell had for Selphie blown wide open. I always thought that he felt worthless and helpless half the time so I also presented those thoughts and feelings here. Hope you enjoyed and please send any thoughts or comments my way. Thanks.


Ersatz Sobriquet

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