Sometimes, I find myself lost in the memories of my past as a SOLDIER. It's like staring into an abyss, trying to make sense of who I once was and how it shaped me into the person I am today. The battles waged, the lives lost, and the sacrifices made – they all weigh heavily on my soul. As I sit here now, penning down my thoughts in this diary entry or blog post (whatever you want to call it), I can't help but feel a surge of emotions that have long been buried within me.
I remember when I first joined Shinra's elite military force known as SOLDIER. Back then, everything seemed so simple; it was just about fulfilling a dream - becoming strong and protecting those dear to me. Little did I know what awaited beyond those doors at Shinra Headquarters.
The training days were grueling; pushing our bodies to their limits became second nature for us aspiring warriors. Endless hours spent honing our combat skills under intense supervision by seasoned veterans – instructors who demanded nothing less than perfection from each one of us.
We endured physical hardships that would break most ordinary men: running countless laps around Midgar's Sector 8 Training Grounds until our legs gave out beneath us; engaging in fierce sparring matches where every blow landed with punishing force; enduring simulated combat scenarios designed specifically to push us beyond our limits mentally and physically.
But through it all, there was always something driving me forward - an unwavering determination fueled by a desire not only to prove myself but also protect those close to me from harm’s way.
On Becoming First Class
Finally came the day when years of relentless training paid off—I earned promotion into SOLDIER First Class alongside some truly formidable comrades-in-arms such as Sephiroth himself—a man whose strength knew no bounds—and Zack Fair—an indomitable spirit who would become one of my closest friends.
It was an honor and a privilege to be recognized as one of the elite, entrusted with missions that required finesse, skill, and unwavering loyalty. I felt invincible – unstoppable even – as if nothing could stand in our way.
The Mission That Shattered Me
But then came the mission that changed everything—the Nibelheim Incident. It was supposed to be a routine assignment; investigate suspicious activities at the reactor located near my hometown. Little did I know what awaited me there—a truth so devastating it shattered my world into countless fragments.
As we arrived at Nibelheim, memories long suppressed flooded back—images of burning buildings, blood-stained streets, and screams echoing through the night air. But worst of all was Sephiroth's descent into madness—the man I had admired and respected turned into a monster consumed by his own delusions of grandeur.
In that moment when reality collided with fantasy, something inside me snapped—I lost myself amid the chaos unfolding before me. From that point on, life became a blur—an endless cycle of battling inner demons while trying to find purpose amidst it all.
Clinging onto Fragments
In those dark days following Nibelheim's destruction, Zack became both my anchor and guiding light—he kept me grounded when everything seemed hopeless or out-of-control around us. His unwavering support reminded me not to abandon hope entirely—to cling onto whatever fragments remained within reach.
Together we embarked on a journey—one filled with danger but also redemption—for ourselves and for others caught up in Shinra's web of deceit. We encountered numerous challenges along the way: treacherous battles against monstrous creatures known as "summons," encounters with fellow SOLDIERs corrupted by Mako energy enhancements gone awry—all leading us closer towards uncovering Shinra’s true intentions behind their ruthless pursuit for power at any cost.
The Weight of Loss
But with every step forward, there were losses—friends who fell in battle, innocent lives lost to Shinra's greed. Each loss added another layer of burden upon my shoulders—an unyielding weight that threatened to consume me entirely.
It was during these moments of despair that I clung onto fragments from my past—a reminder of the person I once was and the dreams that had driven me into SOLDIER's embrace. These memories kept me going even when hope seemed all but extinguished—a flickering flame in a world consumed by darkness.
Reflecting on my past as a SOLDIER brings both pain and resolve. The scars etched deep within serve as a constant reminder—to never forget where I came from or what I have endured along this tumultuous journey called life.
Though broken at times, like shattered glass reflecting myriad colors under sunlight’s gentle touch—I remain steadfast in my determination to protect those dear to me while seeking redemption for myself and others still trapped within Shinra's grasp.
So here ends another entry filled with reflections on days long gone – an attempt to make sense of it all amidst chaos and uncertainty. As Cloud Strife, ex-SOLDIER First Class turned reluctant hero, may these words find their way into the hearts of those who read them—an echo across time reminding us all: no matter how dark our path may seem or how heavy our burdens become—we must never lose sight of the light shining through cracks in our souls.