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Please allow me to introduce myself
I'm a man of wealth and taste"
- Sympathy for the Devil, Rolling Stones

I figured that it was about time that I lent my voice to this website. Perhaps in the hopes of helping to make a difference, or perhaps to at least try to encourage people to be a little more accepting of the beliefs of others, as unusual as they may or may not be.

To start, I am female, Canadian, only child, nineteen years of age, and am aspiring to become a lawyer. I like to think myself as being fairly intelligent. If nothing else, I certainly do a lot of reading on various subjects. Odds are, if it manages to pique my interest at all, I will wind up reading about it. This is the part where I'm already struggling to continue writing this little article, as I've never actually admitted to this before. I believe that, in one of my past lives, I either was or was very similar to VincentValentine. I say "or very similar to" because it's fully possible that, like some Otherkin do, I'm simply associating these memory fragments and traits with an "archetype" of sorts which simply seems to fit them.
I'll elaborate on this further, despite the fact that my story is nowhere near as interesting as Ken's.

I've never played FFVII all the way through. I've never even gotten to the manor in Nibelheim where Vincent lay dormant in his coffin. In fact, the only part I've reached in that game was around when you go to Aeris' house that first time in disk one. If this is the case, you're probably wondering how I managed to get myself believing that I could well be some character that I hardly know about. Well, I suppose this story truly begins when I was a child.

Despite not remembering much of my childhood, I do remember some specific moments right off the top of my head. I've always had this unexplained aversion to surgeries, for one. When I was a kid, I had to go for a couple operations, and I remember that I'd stay awake almost the entire night before one, and prior to one surgery, I was seriously screaming and crying. I DID NOT want to go into that Operation Room, and I couldn't explain why. I just wanted as far away from there as possible. Needless to say that Me+Hospitals =/= Happy fun time. Perhaps this is normal, and truly irrevalent, much like my habit of carrying the burden for things that have gone wrong, and blaming myself for it. However, I digress somewhat.

As a child, I felt very much out of place in this world; as if I just didn't belong here, or in this particular time. It was this very feeling which eventually lead to my being so drawn to the Otherkin and Vampiric communities online, as it is often said on informational sites about both HLVs(Human Living Vampires) and Otherkin that that is a common trait for them. A memory that stands out in my mind was from elementary school. A friend of mine was going on and on about Final Fantasy VII, and naming off the characters. "Cloud Strife, Red XIII, VincentValentine, Tifa Lockhart..." I stopped her right about there, one of the names jumped out at me. "VincentValentine?" I recall asking. Something about the name had just stood out. Perhaps it was because of how very cheesy it sounded(I'll admit it, VIncent's name .has always sounded a bit cheesy to me, not like my own internet aliases don't, because they also do). I didn't really bother asking too much about him.

I never really did invest too much into the Final Fantasy series. My initial reason to pick up the FFVII game was to see more of Sephiroth's character. I don't know why, but Sephiroth was another character who stood out for me. The only difference was, I had blindly fangirled over Sephiroth, without having ever played the games or even knowing much about his backstory. It was just one of those silly pre-teen "ZOMG HE'S SO HAWT" things, which, when you grow up, makes you facepalm and wish you could erase that chapter of absolute stupidity in your life. However, I never did fangirl over Vincent. Quite frankly, I didn't even bother to look up any information on him until this year rolled around. I honestly never really thought of Vincent as being "Hot". Nor Cloud for that matter.

I had first found a page on vampirism when I was around.twelve or thirteen years of age. This eventually led me to find pages about therianthropy and otherkin at around fifteen or sixteen. I used to spend a fair amount of time hanging around these communities online. I sought them out because I felt a sort of belonging there. However, it could simply be because I was able to relate so well with the feeling of being out of place. It was a feeling that I had to deal with pretty much every day. I must have been around seventeen or eighteen when I had first heard about what was coined as "Otakukin" at the time. At first, I'll admit that I resented them. It was because of the fact that the first messageboard that introduced me to them presented them in a negative light. They were depicted as nothing but rabid anime fans. Needless to say, this isn't the case at all.

The first time I found Ken's site, I didn't really pay much attention to anything that was on it. I just did the typical "roll eyes and sigh before hitting the back button" routine. It must have been the second or third time that I had visited the site that I actually bothered to e-mail the webmistress and inquire about some of the material on the site. To inquire more about Ken. Seeing as Ken Ichijouji was a favorite character of mine growing up, it only seemed fair to ask about him. She answered my questions as best she could, and I was blown out of the water. Her answers were believably honest. It was pretty much that one e-mail that had truly opened up my eyes to things.

It was sometime after that, that I had wound up seeking out the LiveJournal community called Otakin. Therein, I wound up meeting a few very nice people. One of the Otas I wound up befriending was Sephiroth in a past life, among a few other past life incarnations. Admittedly, it was a touch awkward when I found out because of the aforementioned "ZOMG SEPHIROTH" phase I had gone through when I was younger. He had introduced me to a Tifa/Aeris ota, as well as a Reno. It was awhile after chatting with these three that I decided to randomly look Vincent up on Wikipedia. I wasn't very far into the article and I felt like I had been struck with something. Not physically. Emotionally. I had this strong emotional chest pain, not unlike how you feel right before you start to cry.It wasn't too long after that, that I decided to look for more information on Vincent, and wound up coming to a page featuring a bunch of character images on the buttons linking to certain pages. One of them featured a picture of Lucrecia, and as soon as I saw her, I was like "..Lucrecia..That's Lucrecia, I know it.". Needless to say, I was infinitely creeped out when it turned out I was actually right.

Then, I had my first dream that had anything to do with this. It was dark, but Vincent(in his post-experimentation crimson and black outfit), as well as Hojo, were both visible. Vincent was standing across from Hojo, his right arm extended, pointing his gun at the scientist. The dialogue was what really left its mark on me.

"I'm a monster because of you. You killed me, then brought me back to life.."

"I improved upon you."

It was then that I woke up, but I was rather emotionally disturbed. I hugged myself, whispering the words "..I'm a monster.." to myself. They were etched into my mind at the time.

After that dream, I didn't really bother to do any information gathering on Vincent. I guess I was just trying to find out if there was some kind of trigger. After all, that could have just been a vivid dream and nothing more. So, I basically didn't really bother to see , do or read anything FF related for awhile. It was around then that the second memory hit me. Far harder to ignore than the first, and far more vivid.

It was a bright day, the sun was shining brightly down on me from overhead. So, I guess it was around high noon. It seemed warm. I could feel the weight of the crimson mantle on my shoulders. For this one moment, it was like I was Vincent. Or, at least dressed similarly to him, with the clawed armlet on my left arm. The clawed armlet was brass. or at least brass plated. It was tarnished, but not so much that you couldn't tell what kind of metal it was.I could see what the mantle collar was made of, and it seemed to be some sort of red knit fabric. I assume that the cape was of the same material as the collar. I was looking at a downward angle towards the ground. It seemed like it was just some kind of dirt that I was walking on. It wasn't like I was standing on concrete or anything. I opened my eyes and rolled over onto my stomach, burying my face in my pillow. That emotional chest pain had followed that memory flashback. I was silently freaking out. Normally, I would forget if I wasn't consciously thinking about it, what arm was VIncent's "bad arm". However, I thought about it, and that memory flashback was right. It was the left arm.

Am I totally batshit insane? I'll leave that for you to decide. Though, I should throw down some more facts about myself here. Yes, I have and do suffer from depression(It's a hereditary thing in my family). I'm actually being medicated and treated for it. However, I don't feel depressed at this point. I've been on anti-depressants for a few months and am seeing a psychologist bi-weekly. Secondly, I never wanted to be VincentValentine. He was absolutely miserable. I don't think he was cool or hot or anything, and I honestly never did(to be honest, I'm actually a little disturbed when I see people fangirling/fanboying over Vincent and saying that they think that he's hot. ^^;; ). He was just a man whose mangled body and tortured mind reminded him daily of his past and how he failed to protect the woman that he loved. Simply put: His life sucked. Thirdly, I rarely play videogames and I almost never watch anime or read manga. So, no, I'm not a "Weeaboo" or a "Gamer geek".

I could be your friend, your co-worker, your niece, your classmate, that girl you pass in the hall..

Just remember that. We are out there..and all we want is for someone to listen and to accept us despite our 'unusual' beliefs. After all, it can be argued that dragons, angels, demons, faeries, elves and unicorns are all fictional, yet the people who claim to be incarnated as them get some acceptance. I really see no difference with that than with the thought of being someone from a more modern form of fiction.

Thank you for taking the time to read this. I have an alternate e-mail set up, if you really wish to get into contact with me. I'll try to answer whatever I can. Though, please bear in mind that I suppose I'm still "awakening", so to speak. So, I may or may not be of much use to you. Though, I certainly will try my best. My e-mail is: crimsoncloakedshadow@hotmail.com