The Mercenary in a Seed
By Masquerade

Sick. That was the only word I could think of when I saw the small body lying in the street. Gender was unrecognizable with the state the small child was in, and the child was only in my line of vision for two seconds. Two seconds too long, because that child should have never been there. That child should never have been caught in harsh crossfire. That child’s eyes should never have held such terror. That child should never have been part of the militia we were after, and such evidence was the condition and type of firearm clasped in one small hand.

Then I was off and running again, thoughts cut off in return for survival. There was gunfire and bullets biting all around us, the uncertainty of who would get out, the hope that you would, or at least your closest friend.

There were only five of us—a big number, really. We were SeeD’s: elite, powerful… invincible. Or at least in the eyes of the world around us, the last was. There was no need for big numbers. There hadn’t been a need for big numbers. Then we had been found out. Our simple object of getting the leaders son captured at the café where he was meeting with someone had been turned upside down somehow. They had been alerted to our presence and position within the city and we were running for our lives, being chased… being shot down… and killing others ourselves.

One monkey, two monkeys, three monkeys dead. Bam! And why not? We are the enemy. And so are they? Are children?

…I hadn’t known that I would be fighting children. Small things, barely able to hold that weapon that loves to play havoc in our dreams.

I made it home. My closest friend didn’t. There were only two of us left. The other three bodies we’d destroyed on the way out. There was no way anyone could have gotten anything from the tiny specks of remains. Our mission had not been accomplished. We had failed. We were paid half of what was decided on, for this, and SeeD’s were once again requested. Behind the huge doors of the Galbadian Headmaster, we, the survivor’s, denied another chance to go in there. He, the Headmaster, denied the request for other SeeD’s. It was a shocking thing, but he persisted that SeeD’s were not required kamikaze, and that was what it would be, from our reports.

I was glad. Certain suicide wasn’t what SeeD’s were trained for. It’s not what we committed to. Not when the mission couldn’t be accomplished as well; very rarely when it could.

The other survivor asked if I’d seen the old man with a dead young woman and small boy in his arms. I told him “no.” It seemed as though we would both carry around the unforgettable in this.


But I went home that night to the arms of my sister and her family. There I looked into the dark eyes of her middle child, and saw the eyes of the dead child. I had nightmares that night and for days afterwards of those eyes. And no one knew that those sweat-soaked, sleepless nights where not because of my dead comrades, but of haunting eyes. The eyes of someone’s child who took the mercenary out of a SeeD, and left a person who would never accept another mission.


Author’s Note: The thing about true stories made into books or movies is that the writers have not the power to change something into what they like. After watching one such movie, I told my father that I didn’t want to watch a movie again in which true stories are played out like that. And who knows? Perhaps I will. But this story is the residue of feelings over that movie. It’s a poor explanation for what I feel, and what I feel is even confusing to me. But perhaps this senseless jumble of emotions will bring some enjoyment or understanding to you.

Disclaimer: SeeD, and probably the nameless characters as well, are owned by Squaresoft and Co. The plot came from me.

Summery: Mercenaries are to accept whatever mission given to them within reasonable pay; SeeD’s are mercenaries. But when does a mercenary lose the stomach for this work?