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The Fifth Act, Chapter 25

Title: The Fifth Act

Rating:
T for violence.

Summary: FFVII Time-travel. Gen. Cloud has an accident with a Time Materia.

Author's Note:  Sorry for the wait, but I'm back now, and finally have a new chapter for you!  :D

That said, I'm thinking I need to reclaim some weekdays, so I might stick to just Sunday chapters for a while if people don't mind.  Had a re-read over the next few chapters, and they're still pretty rough around the edges and could use some extra editing.  Sorry, I said we'd be back to twice a week, but I'd rather put out chapters with fewer mistakes in them.  ^_^;  Anyhow, hope you like this one!  Out of the frying pan and into the fire, as one might say.

Now I'm off to watch the Australian Open finals!  :D  I will miss you, tennis season.

Previous Chapter  

 

 

 

__________________

The Fifth Act
Chapter 25


__________________ 



"Angeal put in for indefinite leave?" Genesis demanded, slamming his hands down on the table.


Lazard remained implacable in front of the fiery First.  "He said he didn't expect to be gone for more than a couple of months, but we agreed to leave the dates open-ended in case he required longer."


"What could take so long?" Sephiroth asked.


"It's a confidential matter," Lazard replied, glaring across the top of his glasses. The Thirds thought it made him look threatening. Genesis thought it made him look like a cranky librarian.  "I'm not at liberty to disclose it.  You'll have to ask Angeal directly."


Sephiroth shook his head in wonder.  "He said nothing to us.  Not even a warning."

Genesis curled his hands into fists, quietly seething.  He knew it.  Hollander must have told him about the degradation.  But why did Angeal take leave?!  He needed to be here, where Genesis could keep an eye on him, and where he'd be close at hand if Cloud managed to acquire his miracle cure!

 

Except that Cloud had gone missing too. Sephiroth was right. It couldn’t be a coincidence.

 

“What about Cloud?” he demanded. “Nobody has seen him for days, and you said yourself that he is not on a mission!”

 

Lazard’s expression flickered – for just a moment, but a moment both SOLDIERs caught. “I’m unaware of Strife’s situation. Considering the heavy mission load he took upon himself these past few months, he’s entitled to take a break.”

 

“You know as well as I do that Cloud would not simply take a break,” Genesis hissed. “He wouldn’t even take a day off if you didn’t tell-”

 

A heavy hand on his shoulder brought him to a stop. Sephiroth stepped up smoothly beside him. “You’ll understand, Director, that we’ve grown concerned for our comrade. Cloud has only been a First Class for a very short time, but perhaps he attracted some trouble. I trust this matter has been brought to the Turk’s attention?”

 

Genesis had to hand it to Lazard – he didn’t even blink under the subtle force of Sephiroth’s questioning. “Not yet. I’m quite confident that he is safe and well, and there isn’t any proof that First Class Strife is actually missing.”

 

“How long does someone have to be missing before-”

 

Sephiroth cut him off again before Genesis could continue on his entirely justified tirade. “I understand your position, Director. Certainly, we wouldn’t want to compromise any sensitive missions. If possible, please keep us informed on the situation.”

 

“I’ll do that,” Lazard replied politely, returning his attention to the paper on the desk in front of him. A distraction, of course – Genesis could see from where he stood that the document had already been signed. “Was that all, gentlemen?”

 

Before Genesis could complain, Sephiroth steered him by the shoulder to the door. “That’s all, Director. Thank you for your time.”

 

With Sephiroth practically shoving him out the door, Genesis nearly tripped over the purple and black blur doing squats outside the door. “Angeal’s Puppy?” he asked, unable to keep the incredulity from his voice. Who did squats in the hallway outside an executive’s office?

 

“Zack,” Sephiroth greeted. “What are you doing here?”

 

“Came to ask about Cloud and Angeal again,” Zack explained, craning his neck to see around them into Lazard’s office.

 

Genesis slammed the door shut behind him. “Don’t waste your time,” he snarled. “Lazard won’t help you there.”

 

“You’ve already tried, huh?” he guessed, scratching the back of his neck. 

 

“Apparently Angeal is on indefinite leave,” Sephiroth replied, already striding away from the office. Genesis followed, beckoning the clueless Second along – honestly, did the boy think it safe to hold the coming conversation right outside Lazard’s door?

 

“And Cloud?” Zack asked, scampering along behind them.

 

Sephiroth merely frowned in response.

 

“Huh. Maybe it’s a classified mission?” Zack wondered.

 

“Maybe that’s where Angeal’s gone, but they wouldn’t assign Cloud to anything like that,” Sephiroth pointed out. He pressed the elevator button once, very deliberately. The plastic creaked under the pressure – the only outward sign of his frustration.

 

“Haven’t you noticed?” Genesis asked dryly. “Cloud only ever gets monster exterminations or escort duty. The Turks might have taken him off surveillance, but they don’t trust him enough to give him anything with high-level clearance.”

 

The elevator arrived. As though summoned by the mention, Tseng stepped out, and raised an eyebrow at the three SOLDIERs gathered there. “This is an unusual sight.” Dark eyes flitted across each of them in turn, but Genesis kept his expression casual, allowing only a hint of irritation to show. Turks might be masters at reading body language, but actors were their perfect foil. 

 

Of course, while he considered himself a thespian, the same could not be said for his current company.

 

“Hey, Tseng!” Zack bounded forward, but Genesis grabbed him by the collar of his jumpsuit and hauled him into the elevator with them. 

 

“Excuse us, Tseng, we’re looking after this one in Angeal’s absence,” Sephiroth said.

 

The closing elevator door cut the Turk from view before he could respond. Genesis relaxed and dropped the squirming Second. “What was that for?” he whined. Angeal had been right on the money – the exact personality of a puppy. 

 

“You were going to ask Tseng about Cloud, weren’t you? Idiot,” he berated. “And for that matter!” Genesis wheeled on his old friend. “What was all that about in there? ‘Certainly, we wouldn’t want to compromise any sensitive missions’?”

 

Sephiroth folded his arms, staring pensively at the floor. “I just had a thought, as to why Lazard might not have alerted the Turks.”

 

Genesis stilled, a sensation like Shiva’s finger running down his spine. “You don’t think-”

 

“That ShinRa might have orchestrated his disappearance? Perhaps.” The elevator dinged, and they stepped off on the SOLDIER floor, trading the hushed hallways of moneyed executives for the sleek displays of technological prowess. Sephiroth gestured in the direction of the Equipment Room. “Or that maybe something spooked Cloud, and he took off. Angeal could have been assigned a covert mission to bring him back, or…” He let that sentence dangle in the air.

 

Impossible. Angeal wouldn’t do that! Less than a month ago he’d been worried about Cloud being suicidal. He wouldn’t just turn around and assassinate him!

 

Zack appeared to agree. “No way, sir! I can’t believe that. Angeal would never-”

 

“Even if Cloud betrayed the company?” Sephiroth interrupted. “Tell me, Zack, what would you do if you were ordered to take out a traitor, and the traitor happened to be your friend?”

 

The Second worried his lip between his teeth, head hung low. “I…”

 

Scoffing, Genesis didn’t allow him to finish. “We’re leaping to conclusions. If Angeal were on a mission, he wouldn’t put in for indefinite leave.” Genesis could explain away the leave part, but he didn’t want to tell anyone else about degradation if he could help it. “And if Cloud really did wind up on the blacklist, ShinRa would have already listed him as ‘missing in action’ or ‘deceased’ or some other transparent lie.”

 

“I suppose…” Sephiroth granted. “But it won’t matter in the end. If Cloud remains missing without word much longer, he’ll be listed as a deserter.”

 

“What?” Zack squawked. “But the war’s over, right?! We don’t need those rules anymore!”

 

“Did you think ShinRa was going to rewrite our contracts just because we won?” Sephiroth remarked.

 

“But that’s really bad! Does Cloud know? He could be in trouble, but instead of a rescue, people will be hunting him down!”

 

The Puppy had a point. Genesis shooed them into a deserted corner and beckoned the other two SOLDIERs close. “Listen,” he whispered urgently. “There are three of us. We should look for Cloud and Angeal ourselves.”

 

“How-” Zack began to say, but Genesis held up a gloved hand to forestall the question. 

 

“The three of us are the most familiar with Cloud and Angeal. We have the best chance of tracking them down. Anyone who went looking would have to question us first anyhow.”

 

Sephiroth’s lips twisted into the barest semblance of a smirk. “And so long as the company continues to have no official line on Cloud’s disappearance, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with us looking on our own.”

Genesis nodded. “Exactly.”

 

“Kunsel will help too!” Zack chipped in. “He’s been training with Cloud since he got here.”

 

“Good, that makes four,” Genesis agreed. “If we play the mission roster, two First Class and two Second Class SOLDIERs should to be able to cover a lot of ground.”

 

Sephiroth nodded, thoughtful. “Perhaps we should start by following Angeal’s trail. I’m still convinced that finding one will lead to the other.”

 

“There are enough of us that we can follow all trails,” Genesis snapped, a little more waspishly than he intended. Sephiroth raised an eyebrow, but didn’t comment on it.

 

He didn’t want to contemplate that scenario. Wouldn’t. Even suffering from degradation, Angeal would never be pushed to do something so dishonourable

 

Yet still, Genesis found himself troubled by the thought. Concerned. Suspicious. And most of all, worried that he’d soon be forced to make a difficult choice. Not between Sephiroth and Cloud, as he’d feared, but one much more painful.

 

Where did his loyalties lie?  With his oldest friend, or the man who saved him from certain death?

 

 

………………

 

 

A breath in, a breath out. Repeat, carefully and slowly. Over and over again. 

 

Cloud had strained his ears for the better part of half an hour, waiting for a moment when he might be left alone. Just a minute. That was all he needed. They didn’t know he was awake yet – he’d bade his time, keeping his breathing even and calm, waiting for the last of the drugs to recede from his system. Gaia, he’d been lucky as it was he hadn’t given himself away upon first waking. His thoughts were a muddled mess for the initial few minutes of consciousness – a whirlwind of confusion as he alternately worried about Zack, and then the kids, and then his friends in Avalanche… Keeping his timeline straight was already hard enough when fully conscious. 

 

Heavy footsteps thudded around the lab, drowning out the gentle thrum of machines and rhythmic beeping of various monitors. A chair creaked. Cloud nearly groaned. Just leave!

 

He couldn’t contain his start when the quiet shattered under the wail of a PHS ring tone. “They’re persistent, I’ll give them that,” a familiar voice cursed. Cloud relaxed again. Angeal. Angeal never administered the drugs.

 

Hollander would be by soon enough, though. Should he risk trying to break out while Angeal was in the room? The black-haired SOLDIER beat him in the strength stakes, but Cloud was faster. He only needed to get out of the restraints. His fingers twitched of their own volition.

 

A careless mistake. Angeal swore. “Awake again already?”

 

Busted. 

 

Cloud abandoned the pretence of sleep and opened his eyes, pinning his fellow SOLDIER First with a flat stare. “Who keeps calling?” he rasped.

 

Angeal frowned. “Maybe I should instead be asking how long you’ve been awake.”

 

Cloud rolled his gaze back towards the ceiling. Angeal sighed, and a moment later he could hear a cap being unscrewed, and a bottle held to his lips. “You sound thirsty.”

 

Terribly. He hadn’t realised how thirsty until he’d tried to speak. The liquid soaked into his parched throat, smoothing the rough edges and chasing away the lingering mental fog. He swallowed mouthful after mouthful, until Angeal lifted the water away. 

 

The black-haired First re-capped the bottle with a pensive expression. “You’re not panicking like you did the other times,” he observed.

 

Cloud’s gaze remained fixed on the ceiling. It helped. All labs looked similar, but this one was painfully bright - the whiteness of a hospital. Hojo’s lab had been white too, but a faint green tinge coloured every surface. Mako vapours stained everything in the lab, eventually. The only source of true white had been Hojo’s new lab coats, and even they were soon spattered red and green.

 

"He can't cure you," Cloud declared without preamble.  "He's just using you.  He's only interested in stealing Hojo's work."

 

The chair creaked again. He didn’t turn his head to see Angeal’s expression. “You know?” The words barely rose above a murmur. “About degradation?”

 

Cloud nodded. “That’s why I’m here, isn’t it? But it won’t work. S-cells can’t fix it. And Jenova…” He shuddered. “Jenova will just make it worse.”

 

“Hollander thinks it will work.”

 

“All Hollander cares about is S-cells,” Cloud retorted, turning his head at last to glare at his captor. Angeal couldn’t possibly be that naïve!

 

The SOLDIER didn’t appear bothered by his glare – if anything, Cloud could only see pity in his gaze. It made his skin itch. “About that – what he said. Is it true? Are you a clone?”

 

The restraints creaked as he jerked, trying to rise reflexively. “I’m not!” Taking a breath to calm himself, Cloud repeated, “I’m not. I’m Cloud Strife. Just because I’ve got a bunch of S-cells in me doesn’t make me a copy. I’m my own person.” He needed to say it, to remind himself. He hadn’t fought so long to claim his true identity back, only to surrender it to Sephiroth again. “I’m not a puppet.”

 

“So that’s why the puppet thing upset you so much,” Angeal guessed. “Can the original influence the copy?”

 

“I’m not a copy!” Cloud growled. Why wouldn’t he listen

 

“Sorry. I didn’t mean…” Angeal fumbled for words. “You don’t look anything like him. It’s obvious you’re not a clone. Not even family.”

 

Cloud winced. Yazoo, Kadaj, Loz. “We’re waiting, big brother.”

 

“Am I wrong?” Angeal sounded genuinely curious. “I heard Sephiroth’s mother was dead, and Hojo’s not exactly a family man…”

 

“We’re not related.” His voice sounded dull and unconvincing even to his own ears. “It’s… Does it make a difference? The point is, S-cells can’t help you. Hollander’s lying to you.”

 

“And you expect me to just take you on your word?” Angeal shook his head. “I’m sorry about all this, Strife, especially after hearing that, but unless you’re offering to co-operate, I’m not letting you go until Hollander verifies what you’re saying. He’s already put in a lot of time trying to help me solve this problem.”

 

Of course Angeal would trust Hollander over him. But there had to be something- "Wait. Remember the griffons," Cloud urged. In one of his more lucid moments, he’d finally remembered what they reminded him of.  "They were his experiments.  He's using you to experiment on monsters, not find a cure!  As far as he's concerned, you're a failed experiment, not a human!"

 

“What are you talking about? That was months ago.”

 

“Hollander already knew about degradation then! He knew because Genesis had it!”

 

He saw Angeal still, saw the flicker of doubt pass over the SOLDIER’s face. “You’re right. But then why did the tests take so…” The words trailed off, and Cloud waited, holding his breath. Was he finally going to listen? Maybe, just maybe, he could still get out of this without having to fight the other First Class…

 

The moment passed, and Angeal shook his head. “How do you know about all this?”

 

Backed into a corner again. “Genesis told me. In Wutai,” he hedged.

 

Angeal didn’t look convinced. “…I’m going to talk to Hollander about all this before I make any decisions. You wait here. He’ll want to know you’re awake anyway.”

 

No way on the Planet was he going to just lie there and wait for that damned scientist to put him under again! Zack had died for his freedom once! He would never let anyone take it away again!

 

As soon as Angeal had stepped through the door, he ripped out of the arm restraints. The monitor let out a piteous whine as it flat-lined, its sensors torn free. Unexpected – no way would the SOLDIER miss that. Adrenaline surging, he reached down to free his ankles as well. The door crashed open as Angeal came running back in at the noise. “Hey!”

 

Couldn’t stop, had to take out Angeal while he still had the element of surprise. But moving felt like trying to swim through the Lifestream – his limbs were so heavy, and so slow! He’d barely swung himself off the table by the time Angeal darted back to his side.

 

“Idiot, don’t make this any harder than it already is!” Angeal rebuked, reaching out to grab him by the shoulders.

 

Cloud’s legs turned to jelly when he tried to stand. 

 

Neither of them expected that – Angeal found himself grasping at air, and the blond blinked in surprise as his legs folded beneath him. He wasn’t about to let the chance slip by, though. Cloud swung his arm around with all his strength, striking the back of the SOLDIER’s knees. His balance thrown and feet swept out under him, Angeal toppled backwards, and cracked his head against the desk. 

 

His body went limp, and thudded to the floor.

 

Cloud froze. The room remained still and silent.   Cautiously, he reached out and pushed the unconscious SOLDIER over. Angeal’s head lolled, eyes closed and mouth partially open. No blood, no broken bones. Just a concussion. Degradation might leave him woozy longer than normal, but he’d be back up on his feet soon enough. 

 

Lucky break for him. Angeal wasn’t dead – past that, Cloud frankly didn’t care anymore. He just wanted out. Clutching his aching arm – Gaia, the back of Angeal’s knees were made of rock – he pushed himself to his feet, wavered for a moment, then took a tentative step. 

 

This time, his legs held. Letting out a shaky breath, Cloud hurried to the exit, growing more confident with each stride. It must have just been the lingering after effects of the drugs and days of inaction.

 

The door creaked open, leading to a concrete hallway, lit only by one sad-looking naked light bulb. Some kind of bunker? The air lacked the dank, stagnant odour of the underground, though. A ShinRa warehouse?

 

The hallway split into a T-junction, and Cloud listened for a moment, straining to hear past the thudding of his own heart. He could pick up some kind of commotion from the left – muffled voices, raised high in agitation - so headed right. He couldn’t risk coming across anyone else right now, not when he still felt sluggish and didn’t have his sword or materia. 

 

Where was he? He needed to get outside, but what then? Did Hollander kidnap him in secret, or with ShinRa’s blessing?

 

Probably secret. The S-cells would make him think he’d stumbled across Hojo’s work, and he couldn’t maintain credibility by stealing it in plain sight. That gave him some hope. There were bigger problems to consider, but he could sort out those after escaping. 

 

The hallway eventually opened into a larger area. The roof stretched several stories above his head, chains dangling from the ceiling, and the shadows of enormous crates casting across narrow corridors of concrete paths. A warehouse after all. But more importantly, he caught a whiff a familiar scent. Something living.

 

A couple of steps more, and the stench became overpowering. It smelt like a chocobo barn that hadn’t been mucked out for weeks. Blood and fur and faeces and stinking animal breath. 

 

A shadow shifted on his right. Cloud whirled, fingers reaching for a sword that wasn’t there. The shadow simply settled, though, and as his eyes adjusted, he realised in horror that what he thought were crates, were actually cages.

 

A beady black eye stared at him from inside the nearest pen. Rustling and guttural snarls spread like a wave as the trapped beasts became aware of his presence.

 

Monsters. The entire warehouse was full of monsters.

 

Holding his breath, Cloud inched into the concrete alleyway between the cages. Specimens. All shades of black and silver, some bearing an eerily human face in the pattern of their furs or feathers. So he’d been right about the tycoons. Hollander had been experimenting with the transference abilities of Project G, instead of looking for a cure like he’d promised.

 

No surprise. The more things changed, the more they stayed the same. The only difference was, instead of Genesis kidnapping Hollander to research a cure, Angeal asked nicely. 

 

His nose pinched in disgust as he slipped past the cages, mako-bright eyes drawing the hungry gazes of the beasts within. Several of the larger ones threw their bodies against the bars, rattling the locks, and Cloud’s pace quickened. His fingers itched for the hilt of his sword, some materia, anything, but he didn’t dare risk returning to the lab to search for it. His eyes tracked the ceiling, looking for some clue, some light, any sign to reveal the exit.

 

Then he paused, and sniffed. Buried underneath the stench of too many monsters in a cramped space, a familiar scent tantalised his overburdened olfactory senses. Fresh grass, tangy citrus, a fragrant, flowery perfume…

 

Following his nose, the sweet scent grew stronger. He recognised it now. Dumapples.

 

Banora. He was in Banora!

 

Of course. The strange tycoons had been found nearby. And this was Angeal’s and Genesis’s hometown – naturally this would be where Hollander hid his laboratory!

 

Eager now, Cloud hurried towards the exit, dashing towards the source of country air. 

 

In his haste to escape, he failed to notice the creaking metal, or the low, mechanical whir from the shadows. The caged monsters hushed, one by one, and only when the warehouse had grown completely silent did the SOLDIER pause.

 

The whirr became a scream, and a giant fell from the ceiling.

 

Cloud scrambled back, inches from being crushed by the hulking metal construct. The concrete spider-webbed under each of the six steel prongs that acted as feet, and his ears rang from the shriek of servos. A massive gatling gun swivelled around, like the head of a blind snake seeking prey. A snap, some heavy clicks, and the motors purred to life.

 

Throwing himself to the side, the blond barely avoid the shower of bullets. He rolled to his feet, steps peppered by high-calibre rounds exploding at his heels. Shards of flying concrete ripped at his clothes, his fingers, his cheek. Cursing, Cloud dived behind one of the cages. 

 

He should have known his escape was too easy. Hollander would never leave the security up to Angeal alone. How could he get past this without his sword or materia?!

 

The metal bars on the cage groaned. Cloud risked a peek, and winced. The two front legs of the machine had converted into a pair of blunt pincers, and were currently wrenching the gate open with brute force. Where the hell did Hollander get a guard like this? Scarlett’s machines couldn’t do anything other than stomp around and waste ammo!

 

No time to think. He dashed out from cover, jumping to the top of the nearest cage in one bound. Optical receptors swerved to track the sudden movement, and the machine abandoned its current task, bringing the gatling gun around again. The half-wrecked cage crumpled under one of the metal prongs, and Cloud winced at the shriek of agony from the trapped creature. 

 

Great, now he was sympathising with monsters.

 

The motor chugged as the gun spun, warming up to fire. Cloud leapt, boots thudding onto the rusted metal casing of the machine’s back. He slammed his fist into the nearest leg. The machine lurched sideways, thrown off-balance by the warped joint. “Shit!” Cloud didn’t have time to avoid the wild sweep of the pincer-arm. It slammed into his side like a truck, throwing him clear like a rag doll.

 

He hit the ground and rolled, arms cradling his head as he crashed into one of the cages, bars bending under the impact. Coughing, he struggled to push himself back to his feet, wincing at the sight of his bloody, bruising hand. The machine limped, servos gyrating wildly to compensate for the jammed leg. Cloud nearly bit his tongue when one of the pincers slammed down, flattening him on the floor, cold mechanical grip crushing his shoulders.

 

Frantically, he kicked, trying to hit a joint, get some leverage, anything. He couldn’t be crushed and left to die here! He still needed to kill Hojo, destroy Jenova, stop Sephiroth, save his mother and Aeris and Zack and Nibelheim-

 

His foot smashed into one of the other legs, and as it did, the motor suddenly stalled. The hydraulics gasped, and the straining servos purred to a halt. Cloud stared, dumbfounded, and still pinned to the ground by a pincer five times as heavy as First Tsurugi. His wild kick had done it? The machine had broken down, just like that? 

 

Then, there were footsteps. Slow, casual scuffs of leather dress shoes approaching on shattered concrete.

 

"Finally caught you."

 

Cloud froze the instant he heard that reedy, nasal, tone.


He would never forget that voice.  No matter how many holes there were in his memory from that time, no matter how many years passed, he could never, ever, forget it.

 

Hojo.




Next chapter
 


 

 

Comments

( 57 comments — Leave a comment )
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mickeytheblue
Jan. 31st, 2010 11:02 am (UTC)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!
ITS HOOOOOJOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

(Hey, that rhymes! XD)

Anyways, awesome chapter (as always)

I'm so glad that Gen and Seph finally decided to look for Cloud and Angeal themselves. (And Kunsel and Zack get to tag along too! YAY!)

Right now, I really really really really hate Angeal. I still sympathized with him in the past chapters cuz he's dying and he's desperate and all but now, I despise him. It's all HIS fault that Cloud's in trouble. okay, maybe I should blame Hollander too... BUT IT'S STILL ANGEAL'S FAULT! Cloud already got Aeris working on the freaking curing water for crying out loud! He should have just waited! Seriously! (sorry for the rant XP)

Speaking of Cloud...

Cloud's failed escape made me so devastated. He was so close to freedom... It was just so heart breaking >___<

and of course... HOOOOJOOOOO!!!!!!

ARGH! THE CLIFFHANGER KILLS MEH!!!!

I knew you've been posting about how chapter 25 had a super cliffhanger and all, and I was planning to wait for you to post another chapter before reading it but then.. I don't have any self-control XD

ah well... I shall anticipate the next chapter next Sunday (An update a week is waaaaay better than 2 updates with much typos XD)
sinnatious
Jan. 31st, 2010 01:02 pm (UTC)
I knew there would be Angeal backlash, but I'm still surprised by the strength of it. XD

Thanks for your patience! I feel lousy for lengthening the standard time between chapters, but had to be realistic about the new year's rl committments. ^_^

(This is lame, but I have some sort of campy, terrible 'Nooooo, it's Hojoooooo' Disney villain-style song running through my head now XD)
(no subject) - mickeytheblue - Jan. 31st, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
kaorismash
Jan. 31st, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC)
:|
sinnatious
Jan. 31st, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC)
XD EPIC. That's maybe the biggest Tezukaface ever. :|
(no subject) - kaorismash - Jan. 31st, 2010 01:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Jan. 31st, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
fateofshadow
Jan. 31st, 2010 02:50 pm (UTC)
*Does a spazzy little dance that looks like I'm trying to fly while walking on hot coals*

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSS!!! O____________O

Evil, evil, evil cliffhanger!

Kick him in the nuts, Cloud! Toss him about by his ponytail (but then wash your hands)! Tie him up and throw him to the chocobos!!! >_________<

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!! *Froths at mouth*
(Anonymous)
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:34 pm (UTC)
Sadly he can't do any of that because he's pinned to the ground now D:
Then he'll probably get sedated and carried off to another lab. ad;kfajsdf poor cloud ;__;
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 1st, 2010 12:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
:)
HOJO! Run Cloud Run!

Can things really get any worse?!

lol at Lazard trying to be threatening. The tage team of Sephiroth, Genesis, Zack and Kunsel should be interesting to see. If Hojo actually manages to subdue Cloud, Sephiroth will skewer him! Of course, Genisis will be there to skewer Hollander! Speaking of which, Genesis' thought processes were good. I cant wait to see who he backs!

I loved it!
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
Thanks!

Sure, things can always get worse. :D
shewhoflies
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:25 pm (UTC)
Right now, the only reaction I can drag up is eeeviiiiil. You're evil. This could be considered cruel and unusual punishment, you know.

(I want the next chapter. No, wait, I want the chapter where Cloud gets free. ;_;)

But wait... What the hell is Hojo doing in Hollander's lab?
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
What indeed.
(Anonymous)
Jan. 31st, 2010 03:32 pm (UTC)
Eeep, Hojo D:

Lol, back when they were in Banora for a mission, I had thought that Angeal went to see Hollander in a secret lab or something in addition to visiting his family. At least I was right about a secret lab :D

Also, I totally hogged my friend's PSP and Crisis Core game all through math competition. I didn't get very far but it was so awesome and the graphics and the scenes and EVERYTHING were so so pretty *___*

And little Yuffie, lololol
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 12:34 pm (UTC)
\o/ ISN'T IT? Crisis Core is so compelling. *__* And little Yuffie is adorable.
reighost
Jan. 31st, 2010 06:39 pm (UTC)
Damn! Talk about leaping out of the frying pan and into the freaking fire! Wah! Sword! He needs his sword so he can slice those two scientists into steaks so he can feed them to their own monsters!
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
XD VIVID.
laleira_granite
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:57 am (UTC)
Oh. Crap. Hojo. Crap Hojo.

Not good.

... But hey, Hojo finally shows and he knows who Cloud is? He's been watching covertly! Eep.

This could be the great opportunity, though. Kill Hojo! Kill him with Hollander's freaky monsters!

... YES. That's what we need, a Hojo vs. Hollander showdown. Best ever.

... Though of course whatever happens next you've already written it...

And it sure is exciting!
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 01:27 pm (UTC)
Kill Hojo with Hollander's monsters.... I like it. :D Nice and ironic.
daemoninwhite
Feb. 1st, 2010 08:56 am (UTC)
I would comment properly, only I'm too busy trying to either calm my racing heartbeat or call an ambulance before I have a full on heart attack.

WHAT. HOJO. WHERE THE HELL DID YOU JUST SPRING FROM? (Please keep in mind that the commentary in my mind has far, far more swear words included.) ARE DARK PLACES JUST A RESPAWN POINT FOR YOU OR SOMETHING? DDDDDDD: WTFWTFWTF, SRSLY. HOJO. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING.

(though I wouldn't mind seeing something else coming hurrhurr)

LIKE, YOU KNOW, A RESCUE.

And oh my god, Zack reminds me so much of a superhero. Can't you just see him being all "IN THE NAME OF THE MOON SHINRA I PUNISH YOUUUU~"

And Genesis is totally Sailor Mars. Which would make Cloud Sailor Venus as the only blond? And Angeal is clearly Sailor Jupiter. Which leaves Sephy as Sailor Mercury and Jenova as the NegaVerse/villains. ..... Mannnnn, now I need that in my life.
sinnatious
Feb. 1st, 2010 01:07 pm (UTC)
Dark places as a respawn point for Hojo. SUDDENLY DIRGE OF CEREBUS MAKES SENSE.

*___* I never knew I needed that fic until you outlined it just then. Write it? :D
(no subject) - daemoninwhite - Feb. 2nd, 2010 11:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - daemoninwhite - Feb. 4th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
AND ANOTHER THING! - daemoninwhite - Feb. 4th, 2010 01:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: AND ANOTHER THING! - sinnatious - Feb. 4th, 2010 01:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: AND ANOTHER THING! - daemoninwhite - Feb. 5th, 2010 06:52 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 4th, 2010 01:31 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - lunarfirefox - Feb. 5th, 2010 01:29 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - daemoninwhite - Feb. 5th, 2010 06:48 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kotoshin - Aug. 25th, 2012 11:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Feb. 1st, 2010 03:59 pm (UTC)
NOOOO!!!
http://nooooooooooooooo.com/

>>>my reaction for the cliffhanger adfg,h;jk!!
demon_vampirate
Feb. 1st, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
Re: NOOOO!!!
Whoever this anon is, I love you for that link.
Re: NOOOO!!! - mickeytheblue - Feb. 2nd, 2010 09:19 am (UTC) - Expand
kiriana
Feb. 1st, 2010 04:02 pm (UTC)
HOJO!! Gah!! rrrrr.... Cloud! Take him out now! Release the monsters or something!

D:
fateofshadow
Feb. 1st, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Okay, now that I'm a bit calmer and had a time for another read I can't help but pick up on one line:
"He still needed to kill Hojo, destroy Jenova, stop Sephiroth"

STOP Sephiroth. Not kill, maim or hurt. Just stop.

*Huggles Cloud* Good boy, finally your inner voice has caught up with your reader base! ^_^

As for Hojo I have been compiling a list, here are some of my favourites. *Ahem*

Article no. 326: Let the Galien Beast use him as a scratching post.

Article no. 739: Omnislash the bastard. With a toothpick and a blunt desert spoon.

Article no. 2048: Make him the new attraction at children's pinyata parties- baseball bats, chainsaws and electric eels are a must. Blindfolds not required.

I'm open to further suggestions. ^_________^
sinnatious
Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC)
Quite an imagination. XD I'll be certain to avoid ever becoming your enemy.
(no subject) - fateofshadow - Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:54 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - fateofshadow - Feb. 2nd, 2010 01:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 2nd, 2010 01:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - (Anonymous) - Feb. 4th, 2010 03:03 am (UTC) - Expand
firedraygon97
Feb. 1st, 2010 07:38 pm (UTC)
Oh OUCH, this is definitely a case of out of the frying pan, into the fire. D: I can't write up a decent comment yet -- gotta head over to anatomy lab in a few minutes -- but I'll be back!!
firedraygon97
Feb. 2nd, 2010 04:44 am (UTC)
...you know the one character that almost makes you hate an entire story? Yeah...Angeal is slowly becoming that for me. REDEEM HIM PLEASE. T___T He can join in the hunt to rescue Cloud from Hojo, after he wakes up from his concussion and Genesis slaps him for being such an idiot. I don't know, but something needs to happen soon before I hate him regardless of how awesome he becomes later. XD;;

But I mean, I can't BLAME him for his reaction when Cloud starts spilling the beans about degradation. It's reasonable to think Cloud's just spouting nonsense to get out of a bad situation. It's just so freakin' frustrating because we're seeing it from Cloud's side. :/

On a happy note: yay for the search party! I hope the rescue will be epic and Kunsel doesn't die. I don't know why, but I've pegged him for a possible character-death ever since you said he's going to be important in this fic. >__>

And oh, oh, the Turks must be on this case as well! How else would Hojo've found Cloud so quickly? Tseng!!
(no subject) - sinnatious - Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firedraygon97 - Feb. 2nd, 2010 07:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
demon_vampirate
Feb. 1st, 2010 09:00 pm (UTC)
CLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUD OMGNO HOJO MUST DIE DX

I wish you to know: *ahem*
-Your previous chapter link goes to 23, not 24.

-I flailed in sympathetic fear while reading this and freaked out my cat and my mother.

-I still don't hate Angeal. In fact, when he hit the desk, I gasped (and startled my mother) because I can't not love him, no matter how much of a berk he's being.

-I look forward to weekly updates. (This week and a half thing had me biting my nails and rereading that terrifying last chapter.)

Can't wait~
sinnatious
Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:35 pm (UTC)
D: Good catch with the link, thank you!

I'm glad somebody doesn't hate Angeal. ^_^ That really was unintentional (at least, to that degree).

Yeah, sorry for the long wait that time, thanks for your patience. A week throughout is probably a more realistic goal, but I always tend to start posting fic when I have lots of free time, and finishing them when I have none. :/
(no subject) - demon_vampirate - Feb. 2nd, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
ixtey
Feb. 2nd, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
ekjwtfdjkhskldjfsd FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL FLAIL I AM FLAILING SO MUCH JHAGDKLJHWKFJSADGJSKD

uh. My brain is fried now. Haven't been on lj for the last couple of days, and this welcomed me back, lol.

asdlksad I'm just so disappointed at Angeal, rawr. And I hope Hojo gets eaten by one of the monsters there. Of course they wouldn't touch Cloud, he'd be too mako-tainted to taste yummy. :))
sinnatious
Feb. 2nd, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC)
WELCOME BACK TO LJ. :D

Yeah, they'd probably contract mako poisoning from one bite. XD
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