Chrono Trigger - Believe

Circa 3000 A.D. - Capital of the Guardia Empire, Truce
Chapter III - Day Two, Black Rain

The sun rose above the dark layer of clouds that had hung over the city since late last night, and the hazy twilight of dawn faded into the obscure gloom of day. The wind had begun to pick up, and thunder began to roll across the cloudy sky. As the day progressed, more and more survivors of the Nuclear crawled out from the shadows. Any resolve these people may have once had was eaten up long before this incident. Most wandered about aimlessly, calling out the names of loved ones. Loved ones that were likely dead.

I had also witnessed the first incident of an illness I call "Nuclear Plague". I had never seen anything like it, until today. People becoming mere husks of themselves, wracked with coughing spasms and their hair falling out. Perhaps it was because I'm not a real person, I'm really not sure, but I seemed to be spared the effects of that horrible killer.

Pulling my hat lower, and drawing my coat up, I stepped back out into the streets as a black, oily rain began to fall. It wasn't natural, and surely couldn't be healthy.

It had taken people all morning to convince themselves it was over... yet this rain, so easily sent them scurrying back into the dark recluses of this ruined city. Soon I found myself hastily making my way down a deserted street.

Thunder announced my coming and lightning lit my path as I strode down the empty street. The poison rain came down harder, in torrents, pounding against me, as though to thwart my attempts to leave Truce.

"You there!", a voice called from behind me.

Spinning around, I saw a lone Imperial Soldier, "Yeah?"

"What are you doing out in this?"

"Looking for someone," I lied.

"Why you, and no one else?"

The lightning flashed, and I darted for my gun. Caught off-guard, he raised his own. Only he was too slow, and the crack of my gunshot was buried in a roll of thunder. The man toppled over into the oily mud, and as though nothing happened. I slipped the pistol into it's holster and continued on my way as though nothing more than a casual exchange of words had occurred.

Until this mission, I had never cared much what happened to others; especially my enemies. But now, something inside had changed. The cries of parentless children... The look of that man who had been trapped under the rubble... And now, the soldier, coldly gunned down because he was slowing my progress...

How long has it been that I simply chose to ignore the cries? The people begging for mercy? How many had I killed with no remorse?

Is that what I am? A simple killing machine? Were my fellow soldiers right then, in treating me as though I wasn't a person?

And why was my mind being flooded with these questions now? The rain lightened somewhat, and I pushed myself an extra bit faster. Mulling over more questions. Questions I couldn't begin to answer.

Thankfully, there were no other encounters for the rest of the day, by the time night had fallen the black rain had stopped, and if one dared to look into the sky stars were viewable through small gaps in the clouds above.

I had traveled hard all day, and no matter how badly I wanted away from here I couldn't do it without rest. Once again, I took to the shadows seeking out a relatively safe place to stay the night. Odds were pretty good I wasn't the only one bold enough to walk the streets. Worse still would be to run into a rampaging gang of marauders, or other things not quite human.

Finding a dry nook under the remains of a fallen building, I pulled my coat tight and unholstered my pistol. Grasping it firmly in one hand, and cradling it with my other arm, I settled in to sleep. Albeit a fitful one.

When sleep came, I was haunted by fitful dreams. The Nuclear, the fire, and this mysterious plague that seemed to be caused by it. Dreams of people vaporized in the blast, and others consumed by the flames. Worse still, were dreams of the aftermath. Dreams of the plague slowly eating away at it's victims. Children standing amid a sea of flames, wondering where their parents are? Wondering why they were gone to begin with.

I'm not really sure when it happened, but at sometime, somewhere during those shattered and sporadic dreams I came to a realization. Of what that realization was exactly, I wasn't quite sure yet, but it was only a matter of time until I did.