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The Fifth Act - Chapter 35

Title: The Fifth Act

Rating:
T for violence.

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

Author's Note:  Been a busy week, but we have a new chapter at last!  Honestly, this chapter could probably still use more work, but I’ve made you wait long enough.  Hope you enjoy it.  Nice and long to make up for the delay. 

Previous Chapter  

 

 

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The Fifth Act
Chapter 35


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Sephiroth eyed the spiky-haired blond across from him with some concern.  The boy’s face had taken on a sickly sheen, and the General did not relish the prospect of spending the next few hours with a puddle of vomit at his feet. The hold already carried a strange smell, apparently having been used to deliver sylkis greens to the Gold Saucer on its previous run.

 

They weren’t using the biggest or fastest of ShinRa’s airships by any means. The engine drone was accompanied by a worrying rattle, and spots on the hull’s interior had begun to rust. The craft had been designed to ferry cargo, not people, but there was just enough room in the hold to fit them and a few crates of engine parts comfortably. 

 

They were being flown over to the West Continent by a pilot who’d been paid a substantial sum to not mention the presence of additional cargo on his invoice. While this meant they could travel quickly and without attracting attention that might tip off anyone at their destination, it required a certain sacrifice of comfort. They were arranged in a cramped circle, substituting the packing crates for chairs. Cloud’s nephew sat hunched and miserable across from him, with Zack patting the boy’s back on one side and Angeal’s chimera curled up sleeping on the other. Genesis perched on a slightly taller crate next to him, no doubt forgoing to the comfort of his feet being able to reach the ground for the perceived height advantage. Completing their entourage was Vincent, who had chosen to haunt a shadowy corner a short distance away – close enough that he could engage in conversation if necessary, but far enough to discourage it. 

 

They’d been forced to leave Kunsel behind in the care of Zack’s girlfriend. It had been a risk, as apparently she was under Turk surveillance, but lugging a sick SOLDIER across continents was not conducive to a speedy recovery. They would simply need to trust Tseng at his word, at this point.

 

The airship lurched briefly in a bout of turbulence. The boy let out a piteous groan. 

 

“Hang in there, Spike. Is the medicine helping?” Zack leaned down to get a better look at his queasy features. “Wow, you’ve really got it bad. How did you manage to get Kunsel all the way to Midgar if you could barely take care of yourself?”

 

“Didn’t have a choice,” was the mumbled reply.

 

Zack laughed – the sound far too loud and merry for the gravity of their current situation. “I guess not! No wonder you looked so upset when we said we were going back to Nibelheim straight away! You could have stayed with Kunsel and Aeris, you know.”

 

He received a stubborn shake of the head in response. 

 

Sephiroth figured there would be no better opportunity to ask, now that they were on their way and had time to kill. “I’ve been curious as to the details of how that all came about, actually. Especially him.” He inclined his head towards the sleeping chimera. 

 

“I too have been waiting for a more thorough explanation,” Genesis added.

 

Zack scratched the back of his neck.   “Oh yeah, we kind of didn’t get a chance to explain everything properly, did we?” The First sent a sidelong glance at the miserable blond. “Don’t worry, Spike, you just concentrate on not throwing up. I got this,” he reassured him.

 

“Spike?” Genesis raised an eyebrow. It was blatantly obvious he’d been dying to ask for a while now.

 

“Nickname! Cause of the hair! It’s confusing otherwise.”

 

“Get on with it, Zack,” Sephiroth interrupted.

 

“Right! So, I was heading into the slums to visit Aeris…”

 

Sephiroth listened impassively as Zack recounted the child’s story, coaxing the occasional comment or confirmation from the Cloud look-alike as he went. The tale he wove on the child’s behalf grew ever more unbelievable with each sentence. By the time the cheerful SOLDIER had finished his rather extended report, there were a great many questions they needed to address.

 

Considering the company, he put the first query to the boy.

 

“How old are you, Strife?” He found himself uncomfortable using the youth’s first name. In his mind, it had been reserved for his rival, and he was hardly going to resort to nicknames to keep things straight.

 

The child managed to pull himself into a sitting position. “F-fourteen, sir!”

 

“You don’t need to call him sir! You’re not in the military!” Zack chided.

 

The blond looked up to the First with wide blue eyes. “But then what do I call him? Mister?” The very idea of using his given name appeared to horrify the child.

 

Sephiroth, however, was still stuck on the notion that a fourteen-year-old boy had come from the West Continent all by himself.  Lugging a sick SOLDIER while avoiding ShinRa, at that. No wonder Zack had been so shocked at the child’s motion sickness.

 

Surprises, he decided, must run in the Strife family.

 

“There is a flaw in your story,” Genesis suddenly declared.

 

“What?!” Zack squawked. “Spike, did I forget something?”

 

“It’s not something you forgot,” Genesis interrupted. “But it’s about his family in Nibelheim.”

 

“Oh, yeah. Cloud said he grew up in Nibelheim, but Spike here never saw him until after the Wutai War,” Zack agreed. “I can’t figure it out. Maybe he lied?”

 

“Not that.” Genesis sounded irritated. “I was referring specifically to the part when he first arrived.”

 

“You mean, when Ma shot at him?” the boy asked.

 

Genesis nodded curtly. “Doesn’t anyone else find that unusual? They both use the name Strife, correct?”

 

“It’s my mother’s maiden name,” the blond agreed.

 

“You said your uncle told you that there must have been issues with your father’s family. But if you carry the same last name, doesn’t that mean he’s your mother’s brother, not your father’s?”

 

Sephiroth frowned. That was indeed a glaring contradiction. “I don’t think he lied about it, either. He reacts to the name quickly enough. That is an ingrained reflex not easily learned.”

 

“You’re probably right,” Zack admitted. “What do you think, Spike?”

 

"He... he never actually told me his name," the teen mumbled to his feet. “I only heard it from Mr Ferrey later.”


Genesis smirked.  "That certainly sounds like our Cloud Strife."


Sephiroth agreed.  "Precious about his name even with family members. Assuming, of course, that they truly are family." The inconsistencies were beginning to bother him immensely.

 

"What else could they be? They look so much alike! They’re practically identical," Zack declared.


"Not really," Genesis sniffed. 


Sephiroth studied the youth, and found himself in agreement.  The resemblance was unusually strong, even for relatives, but he couldn't imagine ever confusing one for the other.  Never mind the lack of enhancements or the age difference - this Cloud wore his expression openly, eyes alight and soft smile at the ready, even when hunched over his knees trying not to throw up.  He was eager to please, a little shy and awkward – self-esteem issues, perhaps - and as Zack had proven, show him the slightest hint of approval or friendliness and you had his immediate trust.  Their Cloud couldn't be more different - even on the rare occasions he smiled, his eyes remained guarded, and his posture was always so stiff, as though the he carried a weight far heavier than a mere sword on his shoulders. 


They both had a backbone made of adamantite, though, and a stubborn streak as wide as the Northern Crater.  Maybe that too was a family trait.

 

“There is little we can do to shed light on that matter until we find Cloud himself,” Sephiroth reasoned. It felt like they were getting closer to solving the mystery of Cloud Strife, yet the final piece eluded them, the one that fit everything together. “However, there is another point of curiosity we need to discuss.”

 

Zack looked bewildered. “What?”

 

Genesis rolled his eyes. “He’s talking about the chimera.”

 

“You said you found it sitting with Sergeant Kunsel when you arrived, and that it followed you out of Nibelheim all the way to Midgar?” Sephiroth prompted.

 

The boy looked up from his knees to nod. He didn’t appear to be up to extrapolating any further at the moment. 

 

“I am curious as to how the creature came to be,” Genesis commented.

 

“The slaughtered specimens we saw in the lab in Banora were similar,” Sephiroth reminded him. “Clearly a method for transformation exists. However, I never anticipated it could go so far as to influence a beast’s consciousness, to the point of domestication.” It was counter-intuitive - there would have been no need to cage the specimens in those circumstances. This chimera had been nothing but docile.

 

“Hollander almost certainly made those monsters, but they were all destroyed without exception. For this one to exist, it must have been made after Hollander died, which means this is Angeal’s work directly. Perhaps that is the source of the difference,” Genesis hypothesised. 

 

It seemed logical then that Angeal had dispatched this creature to protect the boy and Sergeant Kunsel on their journey across the continents. Sephiroth folded his arms pensively. “What I don’t understand is if Angeal was there and aware of what was going on, why he didn’t help out directly? Why only work through proxies?” Genesis looked worried, he noted. “You know something.”

 

The Commander clutched his shoulder. A new nervous habit – he wondered how long he should leave it before informing his friend of his new tell. “Degradation. The pain can strike you suddenly, crippling you at the most inopportune moments. You become weak, you stop trusting your body to act the way you expect it to, and you start to fear even the smallest of injuries.”

 

Genesis painted a chilling image, but Sephiroth understood. Their old friend was playing it safe, then. Taking what small actions he felt sure he could complete. A copy would be, in his eyes, more reliable.   

 

Angeal always had been the most cautious one.

 

“Or it could just be that he needed to stay in Nibelheim to look for Cloud,” Zack pointed out. Sephiroth sent him a flat stare, and he became defensive. “What?”

 

“It doesn’t sound as though Nibelheim is that large,” Genesis scoffed. “Smaller than even Banora, by all reports. Surely, in the time since he bequeathed you that Buster Sword, Angeal would have been able to inspect the place in its entirety several times over.”

 

For the first time since boarding the airship, Vincent’s smooth baritone split the silence. Zack and Cloud jumped – both apparently having forgotten he was there. “Nibelheim itself is small, but if you don’t know where to look for it, the way into Hojo’s laboratory is almost impossible to find. The entrance is well camouflaged, and only able to be opened by a hidden mechanism.”

Genesis raised his eyebrows. “The good Professor is certainly paranoid.”

If even half of what he suspected was true, Hojo had excellent cause to be. The case of Vincent Valentine alone was enough to get the Turks offside. Everybody knew Hojo had the President’s favour, but how much longer would that last with the Turks actively ferreting out his every lie? “It is fortunate, then, that we have a guide with us.” 

 

His words were met with a long, grave silence. Sephiroth stared Vincent down, confused by his apparent reluctance. “Was I wrong to presume that of you?”

 

Eventually, Vincent murmured, “There are many secrets in that place better left buried. Secrets you may be happier not knowing.” The hold had fallen deathly quiet – even the child held in his groaning, as though scared to draw attention to himself. “However, you must choose your own path. I cannot choose it for you.”

 

Sephiroth arched an eyebrow. “Choose?” he echoed.

 

Vincent didn’t explain. “Cloud does not believe in you,” was all he would say. “However, I have faith in the son of Lucrecia.”

 

Cryptic words, but Sephiroth found them oddly ominous. Lucrecia again. He wanted to ask the former Turk more, but could not bring himself to do so with an audience. What did it mean? He needed to know, but a part of him was reluctant to find out.

 

Everything he thought he knew and could trust had been slowly collapsing around him, ever since Angeal and Cloud first disappeared. Hollander’s murder. The news of degradation and human experiments. Months of the company pretending two of its top SOLDIERs no longer existed. All that time searching, always aware that Angeal’s health could be dwindling by the day, always conscious of the Turks and Lazard looking over his shoulder. The growing certainty that the company he served was the culprit. Then he’d discovered the Second Class in a hotel in the slums. A SOLIDER who had been reported as dead. Irrefutable proof of a ShinRa cover up. 

 

His fingers flexed. Then Vincent’s declaration that Hojo was involved had been the last piece of concrete evidence he’d needed to be sure that his dreams were more than dreams. That it hadn’t been his hand choking the Professor, as satisfying a fantasy it might have been. That all this time, Cloud – one of the few people he cared about – had been trapped by the Science Department, leaving Angeal to wither away.

 

An ugly feeling had begun to grow in him. A dark, potent rage, that the company he’d served for as long as he could remember would betray him so thoroughly.

 

No, more than mere rage. Hatred.

 

The foundation of his every belief in himself and the world had been shaken, giving way to sick, twisted suspicions about his own forgotten childhood. Jenova was not his mother? Instead, it was some woman named Lucrecia he’d never even heard of? 

 

Then who was Jenova?

 

 

……………………..

 

 

The truck rumbled to a stop outside the town gates. Genesis stepped down from the back, dusted off the hem of his long red jacket, and reached back to collect First Tsurugi, grimacing under the weight. He would never understand the appeal of such a heavy weapon, even if it separated.

 

Sephiroth moved to stand by the gates with an odd expression of his face. Zack was busy helping the grey-faced child down from the truck, so Genesis sauntered over to join the General. It had been two and a half days of solid travelling, but they’d finally arrived at Nibelheim. According to Cloud’s nephew, that was actually an achievement. 

 

Now that they’d arrived, though, he found himself unimpressed. When he’d first heard the descriptions of Nibelheim, he’d pictured a more mountainous version of Banora, but he couldn’t have been more wrong.

 

Banora was quiet. Nibelheim was desolate. The doors and windows of the houses were shut tight against the cold breezes rolling off the peak, and though the curtains twitched, nobody came out to greet them. The sheer surrounding cliffs walls left half the buildings in near-permanent shadow. What little vegetation framed the village was gnarled and withered, poking out between crevasses of dark grey rock. 

 

It felt like a ghost town, only everybody forgot to leave.

 

Sephiroth had yet to move. “Is something bothering you?” Genesis drawled. Could he be having second thoughts? ShinRa’s famous General had looked unusually pensive throughout the journey, after all. Vincent’s cryptic warning had only fed his growing concern. 

 

Not that he was concerned for Sephiroth, of course – merely the side effects they would suffer should he begin behaving as unpredictably as Angeal. 

 

“This place… it seems familiar,” he murmured. “Yet I cannot recall ever being here before.”

 

“Given what Vincent said about Lucrecia, and that Hojo has his lab here, there is a good chance this is your hometown,” Genesis remarked. “Though I suppose you would not remember it consciously.”

 

Sephiroth considered that for a moment, green eyes sweeping critically across each building in turn. 

 

“…I feel no attachment to it whatsoever.”

 

With that cold pronouncement, Sephiroth began walking purposefully towards the inn. “We should move quickly. Our arrival is not likely to go unnoticed for long.”

 

Genesis threw a glance back to the rest of their rag-tag crew. Cloud’s nephew appeared to be pulling himself together now they were no longer moving, though Zack still hovered around him, as if expecting him to collapse at any moment. Their driver had locked up the truck and was making a beeline for one of the houses. The chimera took a running leap into the air and soared over the village, wheeling out of sight a moment later.

 

Vincent appeared at his elbow. “Keep an eye on Sephiroth,” he murmured.

 

The Commander scoffed. “I thought you ‘believed in him’.”

 

“I do. But caution would be prudent.”

 

Genesis eyed him. “And what precisely am I looking out for? Do you care to share what it is you know, Vincent Valentine?”

 

The former Turk breezed past without replying.

 

How mysterious.

 

By the time they’d arrived at the Inn, Sephiroth had already arranged for rooms. Genesis carefully placed Cloud’s belongings in the corner, and Zack did squats by the door. Cloud’s nephew stood awkwardly next to him.

 

“Okay, so we’re off to the lab now, right?” Zack asked. “Oh but… Spike, you should go tell your mother you’re back. I bet she’s worried.”

 

The light of challenge entered the boy’s eyes. “I want to help find my uncle too.”

 

“It’s probably going to be dangerous.” Zack’s diplomatic way of saying ‘you’ll get in the way’, Genesis noted.

 

“But-”

 

Zack threw him a glance, and murmured in a voice low enough for the child not to hear, “You tell him.”

 

Puzzled, Genesis asked, “Why?” He had no experience with children. There was a reason why ShinRa didn’t give him any training duties.

 

“Just do it.”

 

Genesis shrugged. He was impatient to get going. “We’re moving on to private ShinRa property – civilians aren’t allowed. Go home and maintain an air of normalcy,” he cut in.  “That’s an order. We’ll be back with your uncle soon enough.”

 

All further protests died on the boy’s lips, and he nodded quickly.

 

That was easy. “Let’s not waste any more time. I’d rather not give any curious townspeople the chance to gather before we leave.” As an afterthought, he added to the boy, “And don’t tell anyone where we’ve gone. If we’re not back by nightfall, write a letter explaining everything that’s happened and give it to the chimera.” 

 

The child nodded again, and scrambled out the door. As the front door to the Inn slammed shut, he raised an eyebrow at Zack. “What was so difficult about that?”

 

The black-haired First merely grinned as though enjoying a private joke, and ambled towards the exit. “Nothing. Just worked better than I thought.”

 

"I think you have a fan," Sephiroth murmured.


Genesis swept his hair out of his eyes, in a practiced move he normally reserved for publicity shoots.  "Just proof the boy responds to leadership when he sees it."

 

“Although, are you sure it’s safe to-?” Zack began to worry as soon as they were outside.

 

“He’ll be fine on his own. He has the chimera, after all,” Genesis dismissed. He searched the sky for a moment. Was Angeal here, in this town? It had been so very long since he’d last seen his friend. How far had the degradation progressed?

 

He could only pray they weren’t too late. For either Angeal, or Cloud.

 

Sephiroth was already heading for the northern exit. The village was still mostly clear of on-lookers, fortunately. He spied the man who had driven them there talking with who he assumed was the town’s mayor – he had that self-important look about him that reminded Genesis bitterly of his own father. They hadn’t bothered to extrapolate beyond ‘confidential ShinRa business’, hopefully that would keep the townspeople at bay for a while. They could speculate all they wanted, so long as they didn’t interfere.

 

They left behind the main circle of houses, heading further up the peak along a rocky slope. Sephiroth appeared completely uninterested in their surroundings, walking with focused intent and purpose. Genesis narrowed his eyes. Vincent, their supposed guide, was trailing at the back of the group, but had yet to speak up. “Do you know where you’re going?”

 

His gaze turned distant. “He’s here.” 

 

It took a moment for the meaning to sink in. The sixth sense Zack had alluded to. Genesis wasn’t sure whether to feel thrilled at the confirmation of Cloud’s presence, or annoyed that Sephiroth could tell when he couldn’t. 

 

He settled on smugness. “And you thought I was being overly optimistic in bringing the sword and materia.”

 

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. “You could have just as easily left them in Midgar.”

“If I’d been held captive, my first thought would certainly be getting my sword back,” he flippantly replied.

 

“You have a point.” He frowned. “Something’s different, though. It seems stronger. I was never so conscious of it before.”

 

“Maybe because you know to look, now,” Zack pointed out. His tone was easy-going and casual, but his eyes were bright and sharp, primed for action at a moment’s notice.

 

“I imagine Cloud will be thrilled,” Genesis drawled. “Has it never occurred to you that this was precisely how he could avoid you even when you were looking for him?”

 

He never received a response, as at that moment, a gloomy mansion loomed into view, killing all further conversation. The hairs on the back of his neck prickled at the sight. 

 

The town had been desolate. The mansion carried a far more menacing vibe. It was hidden behind wrought iron gates, with uneven grass licking at the cracked paint and towering cliffs surrounding it on three sides. Genesis found himself searching for gargoyles, though aside from the trimmings on the tresses, the building was stark and grey. The dated architecture gave it an impression of a hunched, sleeping monster, with the grimy windows its many eyes, and the heavy wooden doors its dark maw.

 

Sephiroth sliced cleanly through the lock, and the gates creaked open. The front doors themselves hadn’t been secured – and why would they be, if everything secret and valuable had been hidden away in the lower levels. 

 

The interior did not paint a more inviting picture than the exterior. The corners were full of cobwebs and dust, and the entire place smelt of old paper and mothballs, with a hint of a sickly perfume layered underneath. The foyer was large and empty, leading off to a number of closed wooden doors. A wide, narrowing staircase reached for the second level, overlooked by tall, arching windows, too filthy to let in any light.

 

The banisters, the light fittings, and the few pieces of furniture visible were all antiques – and in bad shape, at that. It reeked of old money gone bad. A wealthy family, perhaps, driven from their ancestral home by ShinRa, which then fell into disrepair through years of disuse. Certainly the central building’s architecture predated the President’s time. Probably built upon, burrowed under and extended, ever since the Reactor was first built upon Nibel’s peak.

 

Sephiroth paused, gaze slightly unfocused as he took in their surroundings. 

 

“Where to now, oh great leader?” Genesis prodded.

 

“Below.” He frowned. “It’s familiar, but I’m not sure where…”

 

Fortunately, Vincent swept forward at this point and wordlessly led the way upstairs. Zack shivered, taking up the rear. “Something really creepy about this place.”

 

Genesis ran a finger along the banister, and checked his glove for dust. “It has rather obviously been abandoned for some time, but it bears signs of recent use.” He eyed several rust-coloured patches on the carpet with distaste. It looked like dried blood.

 

They bypassed several doors to reach one of the side rooms. Vincent headed straight for the bookcase opposite, lifting one of the tomes. There was a click, and a part of the stone wall in the corner of the room rumbled and scraped open, revealing a stairwell.

 

“That’s… kind of cool,” Zack stage-whispered. 

 

Genesis slapped him upside the back of his head. “Hurry along, Zack Fair. You can admire the enemy base later.”

 

They descended the dark and dank staircase to what could only be described as a dungeon. Carved out of earth and rock, with heavy steel and wooden doors spaced irregularly along the jagged walls. Water dripped from exposed pipes in the ceiling, creating fetid puddles on the ground, their mouldy, fishy smell soaking into his senses until Genesis could almost taste it. The skitter of claws echoed in the darkness, dancing around the pockets of dim yellow light cast by weakly glowing bulbs.

 

“I haven’t seen any guards yet,” Zack murmured.

 

“Watch our backs, they might come from behind,” Genesis reminded him sharply. He gripped the hilt of his rapier, ready to fight at a moment’s notice. The lack of security was beginning to make him nervous. Was Hojo that confident nobody would find him here? Or were they simply short-handed?

 

Sephiroth and Vincent led the way to a door on the far end of the yawning, underground corridor. It revealed an office, with floor-to-ceiling shelves lined with books and journals, and a desk covered in scattered papers. The comparatively modern and well-kept surroundings were jarring after walking through the rest of the mansion.

 

“There’s a lab just beyond,” Vincent murmured, producing an impressive gun from within the folds of his crimson cloak. “On your guard.” He searched out another hidden mechanism, and one of the bookshelves shifted, revealing another concealed door.

 

Genesis could hear a muffled voice beyond, but had scarcely a moment to discern its owner before Sephiroth threw the door open and strode inside.

 

It was a lab, as Vincent had said, but it sent chills down his spine as no other laboratory did. Like Hollander’s, it proudly displayed a metal operating table, but this one was stained with fresh blood and glowing mako, and adorned with metal restraints thick enough to manacle a behemoth. Restraints that could only be designed to hold a SOLDIER. 

 

Two ShinRa troopers stood in the corner, looking lost and terrified at the sight of General Sephiroth bursting in on them. A scientist had dropped a folder of papers in his surprise.

 

Hojo, on the other hand, simply frowned at them as though they’d crashed a board meeting unannounced. “This is a surprise. General Sephiroth.” His eyes flicked over Genesis briefly. “And one of Hollander’s failures, as well. Come to admire my greatest work?” He cackled to himself.

 

Genesis bristled at the insult, but found his attention quickly diverted by the enormous cylindrical tank sitting against the wall. Its twin was missing, with only the base and the pipes still present, but the one remaining glowed a steady green. Mako. 

 

“What-?” Zack gasped.

 

Inside floated their missing SOLDIER First Class, Cloud Strife.

 

Realisation struck. This was what happened to Sergeant Kunsel.

 

Genesis lashed out without thought. The spell on his rapier let the tip cut through the container without resistance. The tank held for half a second, then the glass exploded outward, mako gushing over their shoes, drenching those closest with glowing green.

 

He caught Cloud before he could hit the floor. The blond hacked and coughed in his grasp, spitting out mouthfuls of mako. After a moment, his glazed blue eyes opened, tiny green crystals still clinging to his lashes. “Zack?” he slurred. 

 

Genesis felt his eyebrow twitch. “Hardly. I’ll thank you not to mistake me for Angeal’s excitable Puppy.”

 

His eyes widened, but still didn’t quite focus properly. “Genesis. But-” His features settled back into confusion. He turned his head sluggishly, then nearly staggered at the sight of the General. “Sephiroth.”

 

The man in question frowned, as visibly displeased with the state they’d found the blond in as Genesis. “Cloud. Any injuries?”

 

The blond didn’t appear to register the question. “You’re not supposed to be here,” he rasped, wild-eyed.

 

“Don’t concern yourself over it,” Sephiroth dismissed. “I could care less what ShinRa wants at this point in time.”

 

Cloud just shook his head, something desperate but not quite all there in the gesture. “Zack?” he gasped again.

 

“Right here, Cloud,” Zack answered. He grabbed the SOLDIER’s other arm, hefting his half-limp form between them, but keeping Buster Sword raised and at the ready with his right hand. The guards still didn’t dare twitch. 

 

“Interesting reaction,” Hojo muttered to himself. “A significant event changed on the timeline, perhaps?”

 

Professor.” Sephiroth drew out the word as though he were identifying monster remains scraped from the bottom of his boots. “Do you care to explain the meaning of this?”

 

Hojo, for his part, didn’t appear to feel threatened at all. “Care to explain the meaning? I doubt any of you could grasp the magnitude of what I’ve accomplished here. Or perhaps you could, Sephiroth.” His dark eyes glittered with fascination. “I must admit, I didn’t anticipate to see you here, but it’s an opportunity. Yes, an opportunity… a new angle to the Project, why didn’t I see it before…a reunion!”

 

Cloud stirred, mumbling beneath his breath. The mere act of staying conscious appeared to be consuming most of the SOLDIER’s strength – he sagged heavily in Genesis’s grip, his eyes half-lidded, mouth working as though trying to speak.

 

“I’m not referring to your experiments,” Sephiroth responded coolly. His words were as professional and restrained as always, but there was a raw edge, a darkness to his tone that Genesis had not heard before. “I am more curious as to how you plan to justify the incarceration of two of my SOLDIERs.”

 

“Two of your SOLDIERs? Nonsense.” Hojo’s faced stretched into an oily smile. “I’m not sure what you’re trying to insinuate, but everything was conducted above board. There’s only one specimen here, and he was already a deserter when I picked him up. As the head of the Science Department, it’s within my rights to incarcerate him, and I’ll think you’ll find the President is in agreement.” He adjusted his glasses, giving them a bored stare. “I order that you return him immediately. I don’t have time for any of this.” The scientist made to step towards Cloud, but the edge of Masamune held to his throat stopped him cold. He sent the General an irritated glance. “What are you doing? I gave you an order!”

 

Genesis bared his teeth in a grin. “But I’m afraid you’re operating under some false information, Professor. Cloud Strife was never listed as a deserter.”

 

“And I’m finding myself lacking the motivation to follow ShinRa’s orders lately,” Sephiroth added ominously. 

 

For the first time, Hojo began to look nervous. “The Turks-”

 

“The Turks are not your allies any longer,” a fourth voice slid into the conversation.

 

It appeared Vincent had finally decided to reveal himself. Genesis was beginning to appreciate his gift for the dramatic. Especially the way it made Hojo pale and his features distort grotesquely. 

 

You,” the Professor all but snarled. “When did you- Guards!”

 

They jerked to attention at the order, but Genesis sent them a sharp glare and ordered, “Stand down.”

 

They threw away their weapons as though they were on fire. Hojo was a scientist. SOLDIER was military. As far as these troops were concerned, Genesis and Sephiroth outranked everyone but the President himself.

 

“I’m afraid your experiments here are at an end, Professor,” Sephiroth declared coldly.

 

“No,” he muttered. “At the most vital phase… My greatest work!” Hands shaking and eyes wild, he reached into his lab coat and pulled free a pistol. “You can’t interfere!”

 

“He’s got a gun!” Zack shouted.

 

Genesis swore under his breath. He’d gone mad! And with Cloud weighing him down, he couldn’t move fast enough! “Somebody stop him!”

 

The pistol shook as it wavered between them, Hojo’s voice rising to a feverish pitch. “To go beyond the powers of science… Let me see it! Jenova’s Reunio-”

 

It all happened so quickly. Cloud lurched from his grasp, arm stretched out towards the scientist. Sephiroth began to raise Masamune. Hojo, panicked, squeezed the trigger.

 

The air split with two bangs.

 

One bullet struck Cloud in the shoulder.

 

The other pierced Hojo between the eyes.

 

Vincent stood behind them, tendrils of smoke curling from the barrel of his gun. “For Lucrecia,” he murmured.

 

Cloud stumbled – Genesis caught him before he could collapse. The scientist’s body fell to the floor, carried backwards by the shot’s momentum. Crimson sprayed out in an ugly splatter across the walls and floor, and Hojo’s unseeing black gaze remained fixed on the ceiling. He’d died instantly.

 

It was too quick and merciful for Genesis’s taste.

 

“Cloud?” Zack asked, anxious.

 

Genesis fumbled for his Full Cure. The blond sagged limply in his grip – the last shock had finally driven him to unconsciousness. It was a clean wound, at least – the bullet had passed straight through without hitting any bones, and the materia staunched the bleeding swiftly. His breathing and pulse remained steady. “He’ll recover. Hojo didn’t hit anything vital.”

 

He would live, but the Commander had never felt so much a failure as at that moment. He hadn’t even been able to protect Cloud from a wild shot made by a mad scientist. His life could have slipped away so easily, taking Angeal’s with it, and leaving his debt forever unpaid.

 

“Genesis.” Sephiroth gained his attention, and flicked his gaze towards the remaining witnesses.

 

He’d forgotten. The lab assistant and the two guards were still standing there, living statues with their mouths hanging open in abject shock and horror. 

 

Genesis snapped three quick spells their way. After a moment they too folded to the ground, unconscious.

 

“Sleep?” Sephiroth asked.

 

“What, would you prefer I kill them?” he grumbled. “Because I certainly wouldn’t mind.”

 

“I kind of think killing Hojo will have us in plenty of trouble with ShinRa already,” Zack volunteered.

 

Genesis thought quickly. “This is the official report: Hojo was killed when one of his experiments escaped and attacked him. The SOLDIERs on the scene gained control of the situation, but the professor died instantly and could not be revived.”

 

Sephiroth raised an eyebrow. The Commander shrugged in response. “It carries a grain of truth.” 

 

“I’ll go check the rest of the mansion for staff,” Vincent murmured, and seemed to fade from the room. 

 

“Don’t kill anyone else if you can help it!” Zack called after him.

 

“The President isn’t going to care about some troopers and scientists, if he was willing to look the other way while Hojo experimented on SOLDIERs,” Sephiroth reminded him.

 

“Doesn’t mean we should stoop to that level.”

 

“You can worry about that later – we have more important thing to deal with for now,” Genesis interrupted. Somewhat reluctantly, he relinquished Cloud to Zack’s care. “For starters, Cloud needs to get back to the Inn to be treated.” Mako was stilling dripping from his hair, and though his Full Cure had taken care of the worst of the damage, the bullet wound needed to be wrapped and left undisturbed to heal properly. The blond would recover faster if he were clean, warm, and resting somewhere comfortable. The sooner they could get him out of this accursed building, the better.

 

Zack nodded. “Got it. I’ll leave things here to you two, then.” He hurried out of the lab, unconscious blond in tow, looking relieved to be leaving the place behind.

 

Genesis waited until he was out of earshot before folding his arms and regarding his fellow officer critically. “Are you alright?”

 

“I’m not sure what you mean. I’m not the one Hojo shot. I even managed to escape the mako shower.” Sephiroth gestured vaguely towards the poisonous green puddle beneath their boots.

 

“I thought perhaps it might have been shocking for you.” His eyes flickered to Hojo’s corpse, blood still pooling beneath his head.

 

“…You already know my feelings on Hojo. I assure you, the only part of his abrupt passing I mourn is the loss of opportunity to do it myself.”

 

Cold, but given his own rather complex feelings on family, Genesis could empathise. Sephiroth didn’t even have the memories of childhood to tie him to the man. 

 

It only took a few minutes to drag the sleeping guards and scientist upstairs and lock them in one of the bedrooms. Destroying the remaining evidence didn’t take long either – judicious use of fire materia disposed of Hojo’s body far faster than the Lifestream would, and the remaining mako from the broken tank gurgled down the drainpipe through the floor quickly enough. Speaking of mako… Genesis wrinkled his nose at the state of his gloves and coat. A thin green film clung to them from the soaking he’d received when he smashed the tank. “I’m returning to the Inn to clean up.” He wanted to check on Cloud for himself, too – and search the area for Angeal now that they had a hope of acquiring the cure again. “What about you?”

 

"I think I shall stay here and go through some of the late Professor's files," Sephiroth said, wandering into the adjoining library.  "There may be some helpful information here as to what's been going on."

 

“You could just wake up the scientist and interrogate him,” he pointed out.

 

“I know the way Hojo worked. He never trusted his assistants with the most sensitive data. Anything he can tell us will only be one small piece of the puzzle.”

 

Genesis paused. “Then perhaps you should return to the Inn, first.” The General claimed he hadn’t been affected by Hojo’s death, but there was certainly something off about him. There had been ever since Vincent told him his mother’s name wasn’t Jenova, in fact.

 

“I doubt I’ll be much use playing nursemaid with both you and Zack looking after Cloud,” Sephiroth replied, visibly distracted. “And I can keep an eye on the laboratory to catch anyone who might come by.”

 

It was sound logic, so Genesis reluctantly withdrew. He himself was eager to escape back to the Inn now that their mission had been accomplished. Even with Hojo dead, the mansion gave him an ill feeling, as though ghosts were whispering in his ears and the dead were running fingers along his spine. “Until later, then.”

 

Sephiroth didn’t respond, green eyes bright as they roamed the library shelves.






Next chapter 



 


Comments

( 65 comments — Leave a comment )
croix_souillees
Apr. 18th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC)
I HAVE YET TO READ THIS BUT... *bliss*
croix_souillees
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:39 pm (UTC)
... you suck. Also, you're really good at cliffhangers.

While it'd be easy to assume that Sephiroth is susceptible to Jenova right now... the chapter's intro and the way Sephiroth has been behaving makes his actions not quite as clear-cut as expected. He's actually thinking now, and while his logical direction tends to be worrying, it's actually possible, really possible, that he decides otherwise or another factor arises.

First would be that he actually thought about Hojo, his lies and is reconsidering his blind trust to him and Shinra. Second would be his reevaluation of his own ideas and thoughts brought about the knowledge given to him. This does give me hope that he'll, well. I don't know. Something that doesn't involve a barbeque and a late kebab moment.

I really, really like the funny Cloud and Genesis bits, though. While I never did think about them as a... them, the irony is lolable. A Cloud who doesn't see much beyond Sephiroth/Zack/Aerith and can't see how much Genesis is making eyes at him. And a Genesis who doesn't even notice the younger Cloud who's making eyes at him.

I can't wait to see if he finds out.
(no subject) - swyrel - Apr. 18th, 2010 05:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - croix_souillees - Apr. 19th, 2010 12:29 am (UTC) - Expand
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mickeytheblue
Apr. 18th, 2010 12:03 pm (UTC)
OMG I've been refreshing this page every 10 minutes for the past few hours and now it's HERE!!! XD XD THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I'm gonna go read it now :D
mickeytheblue
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:42 pm (UTC)
Maaan, I'm so glad that Cloud finally got saved and that Hojo is dead (OH YEAH!!!) but then Sephiroth looks like he's gonna go crazy again once he learns the truth and all (NUUU!!)

Arrrgh, it's the Nibelheim incident all over again, only 2 years earlier >__<

“…You already know my feelings on Hojo. I assure you, the only part of his abrupt passing I mourn is the loss of opportunity to do it myself.”

- I really love this line, and also the fact that Genesis wasn't happy that Hojo died too fast XD (I guess Vincent just wanted to get it over with)

(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 09:26 am (UTC) - Expand
ixtey
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:30 pm (UTC)
HOLY SHIT NO SEPH NO
ixtey
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:41 pm (UTC)
asbgvdhmasfj I DON'T EVEN-- DOES THAT MEAN EVERYTHING CLOUD DID WILL JUST GO TO WASTE??!? SDBNBHSKDGJKSD AND CLOUD AIN'T EVEN STRONG ENOUGH AJHGDFGJSDFKSHDFJB WHAT WHAT WHAAAAAT

... okay, I'm normal now. kinda. That last paragraph has me so scared. Even though Cloud and Zack have relatively more backup than the first time they went to Nibelheim, with Vincent and Gen and the chimera-thing.

Reading about Hojo dead makes me morbidly happy, though. XD

asjdgjksd. Much thanks for the extra-long chapter. The suspense is killing me. I have a feeling that the next chapter will be EPIC. Well, more epic than the past chapters, that is.

PS. My sister got hooked on FFVII partly because of you. We now share fandoms. I'm still deciding on whether it's a good or bad thing. Anyhoo, thank you so much! :D
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 09:34 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - ixtey - Apr. 19th, 2010 11:59 am (UTC) - Expand
reighost
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
ooohhh *shit* not the library books!!! Just when you think things are going alright... btw glad that you updated after so long it was great reading!
sinnatious
Apr. 19th, 2010 09:35 am (UTC)
No problem, thank you for waiting!
fateofshadow
Apr. 18th, 2010 01:58 pm (UTC)
NOOOOOOOOOOOESSSSS! DON'T READ THE BOOKS SEPH! O__O
teekoness
Apr. 18th, 2010 02:38 pm (UTC)
Ack! Sephiroth, reading is bad for you health! Books are EVIL! ...or at least that's what one of the churches in my area says.

I know you have have some doubts about this chapter but sometimes, you've got to grit your teeth and move on. Frankly I'm amazed you can write so fast and so well. I'm lucky to write six pages in twenty-four hours straight. *totally envious*

What works so nicely in this one is that the big rescue scene goes so easily, an anti-climax per say. It makes us focus, with dread, on what's to come, wonderfully building the tension.

Other things of note:

Genesis bringing Cloud's sword: Ah, Gen. You roll your eyes at Angeal's infatuation with the Buster, but admit you're secretly just attached to your own or I doubt you would've brought Cloud's... or it's just an excuse so Cloud can have it in the finale.

Mini-Cloud's hero worship and Genesis' subtle thrill: Utter drama queen.

Vincent attempting (rather awkwardly) to raise Sephiroth right: Cute. You'll be telling Seph to take his boots off when he goes inside in no time, Vin. Maybe you can adopt him.

ShinRa soldiers surrendering: Smart boys. It reminded me of the soldier you could spare from the sub. (Never did have the heart to kill them.)

demon_vampirate
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:29 am (UTC)
Yay! Yes, Vincent, do adopt him!

(I love you for that image.)
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 09:43 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekoness - Apr. 19th, 2010 11:31 am (UTC) - Expand
teekoness
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:33 pm (UTC)
Oh when rereading, I noticed something.

Genesis swept his hair out of his hair.
saturnring5
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:11 am (UTC)
It takes a true professional to sweep one's hair out of their hair; Genesis has been practicing that one for years.

|D;; that one pulled me out of the narrative for a good minute
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC) - Expand
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lunarfirefox
Apr. 18th, 2010 03:49 pm (UTC)
Your 2-week update has just made me realize I may possibly go into FF7 fic withdrawal after this fic is finished D:

Oh also
"It’s seems stronger."
Shouldn't it just be "It seems stronger" or did I miss something? @__@

Anyways, I'm really curious what Hojo has been doing to Cloud. My pet theory is that Cloud may have had more Jenova cells implanted or something since Hojo was talking about Jenova before and Sephiroth can sense him better.

"It’s seems stronger. I was never so conscious of it before.”
Cloud was responsible, right? :O

"I doubt any of you could grasp the magnitude of what I’ve accomplished here. "
Hojo what did you accomplish? Gah :C


sinnatious
Apr. 19th, 2010 09:48 am (UTC)
D: Noooo! There are lots of other good FF7 fic kicking around, I'm sure you'll be fine. If nothing else, I have at least one other fic for the fandom I'm planning to write (if not several).

Ack, another typo! Good eyes, thanks! Fixed now.
(no subject) - lunarfirefox - Apr. 20th, 2010 01:33 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 20th, 2010 09:44 am (UTC) - Expand
mieva_r
Apr. 18th, 2010 04:21 pm (UTC)
*howls* NOOO!! Genesis, don't let him into the library!!! He needs to hear the truth from friends, in the company of friends, when Cloud's fully healed! You can't let Sephiroth go batshit! Argh~ *headdesk*

I can't wait for the next update~! Please keep up the good work!

(Also, was Hojo hoping to trigger the Renunion right then? How?)
sinnatious
Apr. 19th, 2010 09:51 am (UTC)
Oops, I didn't mean to imply Hojo was going to trigger Reunion right then - just that he wanted to make/see it happen.
firedraygon97
Apr. 18th, 2010 04:39 pm (UTC)
*FLAILS* 2 weeks! Oh man, I was so stoked for this chapter and it went beyond my expectations! I thought they wouldn't even make it to Nibelheim. XD

So many things to say about this:

1. Vincent lurking in the shadows. ♥ Close enough to talk, far enough to discourage it. Fantastic characterization.

2. Chibi-Cloud's fanboy crush on Genesis! It's so sweet, and even more so because Genesis is so oblivious while even Zack notices.

3. Sephiroth's analysis of 'Strife' (aww, he loves his Cloud~) is amusing. I'm glad he's recognized Cloud in a way, pre-enhancements and SOLDIER. Little Cloud has balls of steel, yo.

4. Cloud calling for Zack first thing out of the mako tube. ;___; Though I do like how Genesis got super annoyed, haha. Like another reviewer noted, it's great how Cloud is oblivious to Genesis' attention, just like Genesis is unaware of chibi-Cloud's.

5. Dead Hojo! I'm glad Vincent got the kill if Cloud couldn't do it. And damn straight Hojo knows the gig (jig?) is up once Vincent comes out. :O

6. Kunsel (we haven't forgotten about you!). Hopefully Aeris can revive him, the poor guy. And hopefully she's got that water ready. XP

7. Sephiroth + Books = NO!! Plus if Jenova's already at the reactor, this could be setting up for something bad. >__O Cloud's still out of it, can't kick some crazy alien butt if needed. ;askldjf;s I'm hoping Vincent's words on Lucrecia help!!

...Maybe it won't be too bad. Maybe Seph'll just figure out Cloud came from the future. :O In which case, he'll drop his self-research and there will definitely be words. XD I'm looking forward to whatever you come up with!
demon_vampirate
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:31 am (UTC)
AGREED. SO HARD.♥
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 10:23 am (UTC) - Expand
swyrel
Apr. 18th, 2010 05:11 pm (UTC)
NONONONONONONONO WHY DOES SEPHIROTH HAVE TO STAY?! AND ALONE TOO?! OMG Cloud, wake up! You need to stop Sephiroth from reading and going to Jenova...Is Sephiroth going to go crazy and Angeal is going to sacrifice himself to stop Sephiroth b/c Cloud is still unconscious and not fit to stop anyone? If Sephiroth burns the town and Chibi!Cloud dies w/ his Mum, does that mean Cloud will not exist anymore? D8

Also, YAY VINCENT! You fially got your revenge~

'The dated architecture gave it an impression of a hunched, sleeping monster, with the grimy windows its many eyes, and the heavy wooden doors its dark maw.'

I love your metaphors~

'He eyed several rust-coloured patches on the carpet with distaste. It looked like dried blood.'

Those lines made me really, really sad. Poor Cloud. T_T

Please tell me there will be an update next Sunday.

sinnatious
Apr. 19th, 2010 10:36 am (UTC)
(In the event that mini-Cloud were to die, adult Cloud would still exist, as he's from a separate timeline. That's why he doesn't remember idolising Genesis or meeting an identical SOLDIER uncle Although with so many holes in Cloud's memories, I suppose it could be entirely possible yet).

Thanks, glad you liked the metaphor. I like Genesis POV, let's me be a bit more flowery and over-the-top with them.

Yes, barring any horrible disasters, there should be an update next Sunday.
(Anonymous)
Apr. 18th, 2010 06:59 pm (UTC)
:)
SEPHY- NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!(I think this: http://nooooooooooooooo.com/ fits quite nicely with my feelings xD)

In other news... Ding-dong, the witch is dead!! ;)

And Genesis is such a primadonaa xD

Awesome chapter, I'm really looking forward to the aftershocks of this. I realy hope Sepherith does't go off into the deep end now that Genesis, Zack and Cloud are around, he's not as alone as before... and I LIKE HIM! ;__;

Excellent update, I was waiting for this!
teekoness
Apr. 19th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC)
Re: :)
Genesis isn't a prima donna at all. Really! You clearly just hate the character.




...he's a primo uomo. ^_-
Re: :) - mieva_r - Apr. 19th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC)
Longtime reader delurking~ (I have an account now! Hurrah~)

Augh, I was getting bad feelings throughout the entire chapter regarding Sephiroth and the libary. With the rage and the hatred and "Who is Jenova?"; I was all, YOU DON'T WANT TO KNOW no really don't go to the library HEY WAIT GENESIS DON'T LEAVE HIM ALONE THERE
You're quite good at foreshadowing - I think this could go either way, and I'm not sure which one I'm hoping for.

K-keep it up! Every day after Sunday, I wonder why it isn't next Sunday yet. |D;;
saturnring5
Apr. 19th, 2010 01:21 am (UTC)
/nervous laugh
Wow, I'm dumb. The above comment is me; I guess I forgot to login or something. o.o;
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 10:41 am (UTC) - Expand
demon_vampirate
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:25 am (UTC)
YAY FOR BEING NOT-AS-LATE-AS-USUAL!
I love Vincent. He also does his antisocial best to secede his little corner of space from the rest of the world, no? (Something I've obviously taken to saying. I've been doing it for years.)

AERIS IS AMAZING, OF COURSE SHE CAN TAKE CARE OF TSENG. AND PROBABLY NOT GET CAUGHT. BECAUSE FUTURE!CLOUD TIPPED HER OFF WITHOUT TIPPING HER OFF. AND NOW SHE AND KUNSEL WILL BOTH KNOW. *nodnod*

This may be a bad chapter to read when you feel ill. Hm.

Surprises, he decided, must run in the Strife family.
Ohhhhh, Sephiroth, you have no idea.

Aww, our Cloud's so jaded... *NEEDS IMMENSELY TO HUGGLE*
I couldn't find a Cloud plushie at the convention... I was sad.

They both had a backbone made of adamantite, though, and a stubborn streak as wide as the Northern Crater. Maybe that too was a family trait.
Ohmygosh I have no idea why, but I love this line. Immensely. (Hm, I think I need to stop using that word so much. It seems to have become common. Like "I beg your pardon?" I use that way too much. I sound like Sephiroth.)

Genesis looked worried, he noted. “You know something.”
Genesis always knows something.

A new nervous habit – he wondered how long he should leave it before informing his friend of his new tell.
...only after a few poker games.

AAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNGGEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAALLLLLLL ;___;
*wants to huggle him too*
(I'm a huggle-whore on the web, what can I say? [In person? Not so much.])

*loves Vincent for his sexy voice boundless wisdom*
Oh Sephiroth *has never wanted so much to huggle him*
*...quite*

Lucreciaaaaa... *sniff*
"I have faith in the son of Lucrecia." LOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOVE~

Aw, Sephiroth cares about Cloud, and admits it to himself, and Cloud refuses to return it? WHY ARE YOU SO STUBBORN, CLOUD?? *cries*
Aside from the fact that if you weren't, you wouldn't be our Cloud...

Oh no. Oh no oh no oh no. Sephiroth. Beginnings of crazy Sephiroth. I do not like this.
(Poor Sephi ;-;)

“…I feel no attachment to it whatsoever.”
He's so stubborn. Egads.

Vincent appeared at his elbow. “Keep an eye on Sephiroth,” he murmured.
The Commander scoffed. “I thought you ‘believed in him’.”
“I do. But caution would be prudent.”

BOUNDLESS WISDOM.

I love Zack's adorable diplomacy. He's too nice sometimes. (And aww, playing to Cloud's inner fanboy! He's so cute!)

Genesis swept his hair out of his hair, in a practiced move he normally reserved for publicity shoots. "Just proof the boy responds to leadership when he sees it."
I wasn't aware one could sweep one's hair out of one's hair.
And Genesis is a ham.♥

Random (amusing) image of the townspeople milling around: *speculate speculate*

Aww, Genesis is jealous. So cute~
Also, GO SEPHIROTH GO. GO SEPHIROTH GO. Except wait, that might make him closer to madness... but he might get to save cloud! But-- AUGH

“If I’d be held captive, my first thought would certainly be getting my sword back,” he flippantly replied.
(If I'd been, I believe you mean?)

OMG I'M NOT THE ONLY ONE THAT THOUGHT MANSION = MONSTER. I feel better now.

"Where to now, oh great leader?"
Genesis, you snarky bastard.

Thank you, Zack, for being this chapter's Captain Obvious. Again.

They bypassed several doors to reach one of the side rooms. Vincent headed straight for the bookcase opposite, lifting one of the tomes. There was a click, and a part of the stone wall in the corner of the room rumbled and scraped open, revealing a stairwell.
“That’s… kind of cool,” Zack stage-whispered.
Genesis slapped him upside the back of his head. “Hurry along, Zack Fair. You can admire the enemy base later.”

...I'm with Zack. Also, wtf, Genesis, no Gibbs-slapping the Puppy.

BWAHAHAHAHA CERBERUS~
*cough* sorry. Fangirl moment there.
demon_vampirate
Apr. 19th, 2010 02:27 am (UTC)
Re: YAY FOR BEING NOT-AS-LATE-AS-USUAL!
(And I exceeded the comment character limit by 859 characters-- which, btw, is all your fault because you said you didn't mind the ridiculously long Notepad!comments-- so here's the rest...)

*pumps fist* Go Genesis! *grrrrrrmblgrowlfuckingstupidbastardHojofuckingdirtymadscientistscum*
XD poor Genesis. "I’ll thank you not to mistake me for Angeal’s excitable Puppy.”
I think my slash goggles are welded to my glasses... All I see is that turning into "Wait... Genesis... Genesis!" *kiss scene*
Maybe I should put my contacts back in instead.

Ohhhhh poor Clooooouuuudd~
He's so disoriented and so there and paranoid about crazy!Sephiroth andandand waaaaaaahhh!

GO SEPHIROTH GO. GO SEPHIROTH GO. GO VINCENT GO. GO GENESIS GO. GO ZACK GO. GUAH. JUST EFFING GO.
Strife Team, go! *brick'd*

Well, there goes 'Aeris cheated.' He's got the bullet hole back.

GO VINCENT GO. GO VINCENT GO.

I FLAILED SO HARD. (Half for OMGCLOUDOUCHNOYOU'VEGONETHROUGHENOUGHHUGGLE and half HOJOISFINALLYFUCKINGDEADOMGFINALLYTHANKYOUSOMUCHGOVINCENT.)

I love Genesis. He's so good at thinking on his feet.

“Don’t kill anyone else if you can help it!”
That should not make me snicker.
And I love our dear naïve Puppy.

I agree with Genesis. And Sephiroth. After this, I want to go kill Hojo myself. And it will be slow and painful and full of torture and hatred.

SEPHIROTH IN THE LIBRARY NOOOOO ASKJFJKHFJKSDJKFFFFFFFFFF

(Sorry about posting this like four times, but I exceeded the character limit, and then I screwed up the HTML, then accidentally deleted half of it... so there are now two comments on here from me, and it's all good.)
You are indeed quite punctual - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 10:59 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: You are indeed quite punctual - firedraygon97 - Apr. 20th, 2010 05:30 am (UTC) - Expand
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I feel enthusiastic~ - demon_vampirate - Apr. 25th, 2010 08:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - teekoness - Apr. 21st, 2010 03:49 am (UTC) - Expand
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Re: You are indeed quite punctual - demon_vampirate - Apr. 20th, 2010 09:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Anonymous)
Apr. 19th, 2010 08:30 am (UTC)
*growls*
SO. NOT. FREAKING. FAIR! We wait for two weeks and YOU FREAKING LEAVE US THERE?! You evil, horrible Dalek wannabe! Cordially invited to spend the rest of your life in the theological plain of eternal torment.

Okay, so there were a few typos. So what? We got the picture.

But man, Cloud is NOT going to be happy when he finds out. I can imagine him making Zack get everyone out while he stumbles up to the reactor after Sephiroth...

Well, Cloud's been poisoned before...several times, actually. At least twice, right? He'll be able to recover somewhat, right? Or what else did Hojo put in him?! I mean...

I really hate you right now.

Give me a few days to get over it...

--Obi *still grumbling under breath*
(Anonymous)
Apr. 19th, 2010 08:31 am (UTC)
Re: *growls*
*sigh* Okay, not quite so angry anymore. Sorry that sounded so harsh. ^^; Forgive?
(no subject) - sinnatious - Apr. 19th, 2010 11:03 am (UTC) - Expand
ashoakandthorn
Apr. 21st, 2010 01:23 am (UTC)
Overall description of this chapter's mood can be described by the icon: Badass.
caterfree10
Jan. 12th, 2012 01:54 am (UTC)
GAWD GEN, YOU ARE SUCH A DIVA AND I LOVE IT. <3 It's so fitting that he'd go for the taller box for the height advantage, too. x3 Why no, I haven't done that before myself~ /whistles innocently

EMOTIONAL ROLLER COASTER ASLKJFHDSLFJS As elated at how badass the whole rescue is (DING DONG THE BASTARD'S DEAD /cackles), my gut still drops reading the last line. >_<; At least you know it still holds up in rereads? |D;
sinnatious
Jan. 12th, 2012 02:01 pm (UTC)
Glad to hear it XD.
( 65 comments — Leave a comment )

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