Liana Is No More Chapter 6

Nibelheim Terror

By Amber Gehrke

It was raining pretty badly before the Turks actually made it to Nibelheim. Reno didn't really see the point of coming when the police from Cosmo Canyon had already been summoned to the scene. He didn't see any need for the Turks to be there, but then, the cops were pretty unreliable anywhere you went.

He watched as Tseng trotted in front of him, Rude tailing behind him, taking misguided steps. It had been raining since about around early this morning or so. It was really shitty weather to be walking out in, but now that they were approaching the small unsuspecting town of Nibelheim, they would have to walk in it to check all of the bars and hotels in the city.

Rude tripped on a rock behind him and his boots splashed in a puddle. The rain started to pour down harder and he could smell lightning in the air. On the mountainous areas, you never knew what kind of weather you might come across. It was foggy and snowy most likely in the mountains, in the valley it was drizzling rain, and at the edges of the mountains, there were storms with vicious lightning and earsplitting thunder. The rain was started to Reno greatly as it continued to pound down on his shoulders.

Reno had almost hoped he would find Liana here; he had absolutely loved the night where he had taken her back to her hotel. It was very magical in a sense. He enjoyed her company a lot. She was very talkative, and could keep you going for hours on end. She had plenty of energy and her personality was very catching. He went back home to his apartment to find that he couldn't go to sleep. But then again, it didn't matter because by the time he got back, the President had called his number anyways to declare a quick meeting.

Tseng started to slow his footsteps as a local bar began to come closer into his view. "Here it is," he said, pointing his fingers to it. "This is our first stop. Nibelheim is about another ten minutes away, another ten minutes in the rain won't hurt us that much."

Rude smirked a little as Tseng started to walk down the path to the bar. "What if we get sick? I feel a sneeze coming on."

Reno looked back and almost rolled his eyes. Why would it matter, they would become sick of working for the President eventually, why should a little rain stop him on a bad day such as this? Rude sneezed and wiped his nose with the back of his hand.

"Tseng?" Reno asked, walking a little faster to keep up. "How many places are we going to look at today?"

"Well, there's the bar of course." Tseng replied, not peering back at Reno. "And the hotel is a must. If we don't search there, that could have been a vital clue that would have slipped through our fingers. And then of course, we can always ask the local residents about it and search their homes but I doubt that would do anything about the situation."

"True." Reno said. "I guess we could try and hit everything tonight in one shot."

"Perhaps, perhaps not." Tseng responded.

Reno shrugged his shoulders and made sure Rude hadn't run off somewhere to get a bite to eat. They slipped quietly into the bar.

It was a lively place in there, with people sitting in all of the booths, people sitting on the stools in front of the counter and dancing girls on the stage singing karaoke. Reno shoved his way through a group of people and nearly knocked down a waitress on his way to the counter. He watched as four men got up to deal with some business on the other side of the bar. Tseng, Rude, and Reno sat down to order something to drink.

Tseng ordered a double martini, and so did Rude. Reno didn't really want anything to drink, which was a first for him. Usually he'd order anyth9ing right off the bat, but this time, oh, somehow this time, it was totally different.

Rude sipped delicately at his double martini, holding it with his pinky finger extended outward. "Reno?" he asked, sipping some more. "Why aren't you having a drink tonight? You always get something."

"Yeah…" Reno said, folding his hands behind his head. "I know. But I guess I'm not thirsty."

"Well well…" Tseng said. "That certainly is unusual for you."

"Yeah well, don't take it like it'll happen again… I just…" Reno stared around the room. "I just don't have a good feeling about this place…"

"Hmm…" Tseng replied, sipping a little martini. "Perhaps Lance is here after all."

"On business?" Rude asked.

"Most likely." Reno answered.

Tseng nodded, watching some more people come in through the door. "You know a lot of people come here on busy nights because they own farms nearby. None of the town usually come here, I don't think."

"Well whomever these people are…" Rude said, gazing at them with sore eyes. "They sure look like they're ready for a fight."

Reno smiled as he heard those words slip out of Rude's mouth. He always loved it in a place where there was always some action to watch. He peered over at the group as they sat down at a booth.

Something glinted in the light over in their direction, and it caught Reno's eye, not to mention Tseng.

One of the guys had a gun in his shirt. Reno knew it.

But somehow, he knew that they wouldn't be seeing any trouble from them. Or… at least he hoped not. Reno peered back over to the counter.

That's when the door to the bar swung open. Reno turned around as it did, his ears and senses on full alert this evening. He saw a man stride in, with spiky hair and a long cape hunched over his shoulders. He held with him a small sack in his one hand, his other hand free to do what it pleased.

Reno tapped over on Tseng's shoulder and whispered in his ear, "I think we found our man."

Tseng glanced over in the direction and nodded in response. Tseng tapped Rude's shoulder and he nodded as well. It was their duty to get rid of him as soon as possible and grab the blue Mako for themselves.

"Rude, Reno… in the bathroom, now." Tseng declared, pointing to the men's room.

Rude appeared confused. "What are you talking about? I don't have to go."

"You do now!" Tseng whispered loudly and began to shove Rude into the bathroom, forcing his feet to react. Reno calmly followed behind them.

Once they were inside the bathroom, Tseng began to bark orders right away, wasting no time.

"All right, this is the deal." Tseng said, pointing his finger high in the air. "We have to do as the President wishes. As soon as one of us nabs the blue Mako, one of us needs to do the duty of killing Lance."

Reno nodded his head rolling the toilet paper out from the roll and letting it land on the tiled floor. "I understand that. I can do whatever duty I'm assigned."

"I know you can. Here's what we'll do. Rude, you stay here at the bar and make sure there isn't any trouble between Lance or anyone else. Reno, you will head up to the Mako reactor up in the mountains and search there. I'll head for the hotel to make sure he didn't leave it behind."

"So…" Rude said. "Are we going to leave now?"

Tseng shook his head. "No, that will make it look like we're going back to his hotel. And if we stay here, he'll think he'll need to leave as soon as possible, we'll have our chance to strike don't worry any."

"Let's head back out and order another drink or something. Then, after we have finished or after he has left, we'll go." Rude proclaimed. "I haven't finished my double martini yet!"

"No!" Tseng snapped. "We won't go after him. If Lance appears like he's ready to leave, we get up and go. No questions asked."

Reno nodded his head. "That sounds good to me. Let's just hope he isn't already gone once we leave the bathroom."

Rude started, "I'll go and check on hi-"

"No!" Tseng and Reno shouted together. Tseng continued, "No, then he'll know we're after him. Let's leave the bathroom now and go back to our seats so he doesn't accidentally walk in on us in here."

The three nodded their heads and left the bathroom.

Once they got back to their seats, they found that Lance was still sitting at his booth and was now sipping a drink. His knapsack was sitting next to him.

"He's still here." Tseng whispered.

"Don't whisper." Reno said, tugging on his suit. "That attracts more attention than just talking out loud."

The three sat back down at their spots and began to drink their drinks again.

Reno finally decided to order a little food instead of having a drink, so he ordered a shrimp platter. Shrimp, his personal favorite.

He ate away at his food taking a glance once in awhile on Lance. He saw that Lance started walking towards the other side of the bar, and not out the door. Reno warned Tseng and Rude, and they took notice of it. Rude finished his drink and went to play some pool in the room Lance was in.

Tseng and Reno sat patiently at the bar eating their food, when all of a sudden, Reno began to hunch down in pain. His hands grasped his head and he shook violently in pain. A few bystanders were checking out the action as Tseng knelt down to him.

"Reno? What's happening?!"

"Ugh, my head!!" Reno snapped back, his teeth clenched tightly together. His hands griped the temples of his head as they pounded furiously. Then, with a soft whisper, he heard a strange voice come into his head, whispering… whispering…

Reno help me! Help!

Then the soft whispering turned into screams. He closed his eyes and watched as dark purple swirls came around to form an image of a girl. A girl laying on a sewer gate of a busy city. The image faded and would only show part of the girl. The screaming raged on.

I don't know if he's coming back for me!! Something's wrong!! I can't take it! Help!! Help me!! I ca-

All of a sudden, the harsh shouts of despair were tragically cut short, and the screaming ended quickly. Reno jerked up, knocking down a couple glasses from the table and overturning a couple stools. His pair of goggles slipped from his forehead and landed all the way across the room. His breathing became short and harsh.

"Reno!!" Tseng yelled. "What happened?!"

Reno didn't look up as the tears began to fill in his eyes. He violently wiped them away and screamed out, "Get away from me dammit!"

Tseng took a step back and began to shove the crowd away. "All right, nothing to see here! Move out!! Move away dammit!!"

Reno hissed as his hand slipped onto a piece of broken glass from one of the bottles or cups. He pulled out the glass and threw it away. He picked up his stool, placed it back on the ground and bent down again to retrieve his goggles that had fallen from his forehead. He sat back down onto his stool.

Tseng sat back down on his stool as well and began to clean up the glass on the table. He checked Reno's eyes and saw that they were fine. He picked up the cloth that the bartender wasn't using and began to wipe the blood from Reno's bloody hand. He paused every now and then to glance up into Reno's face to see that his green glazing eyes were staring straight ahead and not moving from the wall collected with beer and wine bottles on it. His eyes were completely focused. His features on his face remained expressionless. It almost scared Tseng the way that Reno was sitting there, not really staring at anything but keeping his eyes focused onto one thing and not moving.

"Reno?" Tseng asked, throwing the cloth back on the counter. "What just happened?"

Reno didn't answer Tseng and continued to stare directly at the wall.


Still no reply from Reno's lips.

Tseng slammed his fist down on the counter and motioned for Reno to follow him into the bathroom. As he began to walk and as Tseng peered back he saw that Reno hadn't moved a single muscle from his current position. Tseng released a sigh from his mouth and returned to his spot to retrieve his angry coworker.

Two minutes later, in the bathroom, Reno was finally starting to get a sense of the reality around him.

"What the fuck happened out there?!" Tseng yelled.

"I don't… know…" Reno replied, shoving his fists into the concrete wall of the bathroom.

"I don't know either. Whatever it was, it sure looked like it hurt like fucking hell! What has been going on with you lately? Ever since a couple days ago, you started to just screw up on everyone. Your work and placement started to get all fucked up!!"

"I don't know what happened!"

Tseng nodded, washing his blood stained fingernails in the sink. "Uh huh, I see. So, you're too embarrassed to tell your own friend because of your high reputation. Is that it?"

"That aunt it!" Reno shouted, slamming his fists into the wall. "It just came to me all of sudden. It's happened a couple times already but I barely noticed it before. Now… now it was just horrible and painful…"

"Right." Tseng said, drying his hands off and really beginning to start to listen. "So, what? This noise just came into your head or something?"

"No…" Reno replied. "It wasn't that. It was a girl. I don't know who, I just know she was whispering something to me. Like… like it was almost déjà vu or something. It was weird…"

Tseng only stood calmly and threw the paper towels away in the trash bin.

"Well I mean…" Reno shrugged his shoulders. "I didn't know exactly what went on just then, it was really strange."

Tseng proclaimed, "Well we don't have time to deal with that small issue that just came up. We have a job to do here, and you know, Lance may already be gone! We have to hurry if we want to get this done tonight."

"I know…"

"Good. Let's hurry out. Rude is already in the room where Lance is, maybe he'll tell us if he's gone."

"Uh huh."

So Tseng and Reno exited the bathroom and walked into the other room where Rude was supposed to be playing pool with the other guys and gals in the joint.

Once Reno and Tseng arrived, they already saw a fight was going on in the corner of the room, but they saw that Rude was more involved with his pool game rather than the fight happening. He was making a shot when Tseng walked in with Reno. The cue ball knocked the one ball into a corner pocket. The guy he was playing against gave a small grunt, like he was unhappy. It appeared Rude was winning the game.

Rude barely made a smile and he continued on with the game right away, as if he had no time to lose. He made his approach on the next shot and shot the cue ball straight into another ball, but this time, it didn't land in a pocket. Reno knew he had done that on purpose, so he could check up on if Lance was still in the room or not. Rude's head immediately went up as his opponent went up to take his turn. He spotted Lance over in another corner of the room, speaking with a man about something. Rude sighed.

Finally Tseng and Reno came up to ask him on the situation.

"Oh, nothing much has happened…" Rude said calmly, rubbing blue chalk on the end of his pool stick. "Lance has been talking with that guy for about five minutes now. Otherwise, the only other things that happened, this one guy got in an argument with this other guy… blah blah, and so a fight rounded up."

"Oh I see how this is going…" Reno said, grabbing a pool stick from the rack. "He's going to make a deal with this guy on some Materia or something like that."

"Most likely." Rude replied. He watched as his opponent missed his shot. It was Rude's turn.

Reno began to perform strange tricks with the pool stick and swung it around like a baton. Tseng only shook his head in partial irritation, yet amusement at the same time. Rude took his shot and got another ball in. This pool game was almost his.

Reno sat down on an unused pool table and watched as Rude finished up his game with the guy. The other man paid Rude a little money and walked off, grumbling as he did so. Lance continued to talk with the other man in the corner of the room, motioning to his sack a couple of times.

"Looks like business is good here… eh?" Reno said, twirling the pool stick.

"I guess." Rude replied, rubbing more blue chalk on his stick. "I'll play you one."

Tseng sat down in Reno's spot as he got up and watched as the two prepared to play. "Materia dealing is a dirty job. If you get caught, it's a big price to pay. I guess this is the kind of job Lance is qualified for."

"Maybe." Rude said, racking up the balls. "After this game, we should get going to check out Nibelheim right?"

Tseng nodded. "That would be wise. Perhaps I'll change the plans a bit. Here's the scoop. I'll stay here to see what kind of deal Lance is trying to make with this guy. Rude, you will head for the hotel. As for you Reno, why don't you head back to the airship and get a little rest? Damn, you look absolutely famished."

"Yeah… I kinda am." Reno replied.

"All right." Tseng said. "I'll stay here for a long while. Rude, after this game, you'll leave for the hotel. Reno, if you want, you can hang out here with me for awhile and then leave. That way, Lance won't get so suspicious about things."

"Sounds good with me. You Rude?"

Rude looked up from his pool stick then back down again as he was about to break. "Fine, I don't care, whatever."

Reno watched as he broke the balls. They went flying all over the table and finally a striped ball went into one pocket, then another striped ball followed it.

"Rude, you got stripes this time." Reno said.

"Uh huh."

"You wanna gamble a little bit while we're here? I see you did with the other guy you were playing from before."

Rude nodded. "Uh huh I did. He's a great guy, a little on the grumpy side though."

"I'll bet you some high stakes here. The big money always pays off." Reno smirked as Rude began to take his next shot. "One hundred thousand."

"Fine by me. I'll still have money left over."

Reno grinned. "Great. My shot?"

Rude nodded and handed him the blue chalk. "I missed it."

Tseng smiled as he watched the two play it out. Then, he turned to see if Lance was still there talking with that person. It was, it turned out, Lance was still talking with the guy. He knew something was going on over there, either a deal was being made or Lance had just met up with an old friend and wanted to sell him something before he left. Tseng watched as a waitress came around, and he ordered another drink from her. He slipped down from the table as three guys and a girl came over to play some pool.

Tseng didn't have anything else better to do, so he pulled up a chair and sat down to watch the two games at once. And to keep his fresh eye on Lance before he ended up disappearing.

They sat there for awhile, before Rude and Reno's game began to get interesting. Rude was losing by three, while Reno was still having trouble getting the eight ball in because Rude always hit it with another ball, or the cue ball. Finally, in the end, Reno won the game by one and Rude sacrificed his one hundred thousand gil over into Reno's possession. Tseng congratulated Reno on a good game and they both bid farewell to Rude, as Rude decided to go to the Item Shop… if you know what I mean.

As Rude left 'for the Item Shop,' Reno and Tseng decided to throw a couple games of darts while they were at it. Plus, Reno would be able to sit down and enjoy a nice cigarette or two before he would head back for the airship, as Tseng recommended so. They played cricket for awhile, one game was lasting them about ten minutes or so, and Reno noticed Lance was heading over to another table to sit down with the guy he was talking with. Luckily for them, it was in the same room and a little closer to their view. Reno smoked a couple cigarettes, and won two out of three games of cricket. Then he bombed out on two games of 301, but beat Tseng at the last minute of his third game. Finally, Reno wanted to head back to get some rest, so Tseng bid him farewell. And then, Tseng was all alone.

Tseng watched as Lance and the man got up from the table and went into the bathroom. Tseng didn't want to follow them, so he waited near the dartboard.

And as Tseng was waiting right there, a small plan popped into his head almost at once. It would be a good opportunity to buy Rude some more time, and even Reno, if he decided in the end to head for the Mako reactor in the mountains. Tseng did have quite a bit of money with him, not too much, but he needed to actually buy back the blue Mako from Lance, that would just have to be the case.

He quietly sneaked over to a corner and tore his suit a bit, to make it look like he wasn't exactly here on business. Then, he watched as Lance and the guy came back to sit down and order a couple drinks.

Tseng calmly walked over to Lance and greeted him.

"Hey." Tseng said, shaking Lance's hand. "May I have a word with you for just a moment of your time?"

Lance didn't seem to hold any suspicion in his eyes, so Tseng let him stand and Lance followed him into the bathroom.

Tseng smiled as Lance walked in, but he made sure that Lance didn't see him.

"I assume you're Lance?" Tseng said, his hands in his pockets, not turning around.

"I am." Lance replied. "You are…?"

"Just a lonely traveler on the way. I'm Shan, glad to meet you." Tseng replied, his mind drifting away form the business. He knew his quick thinking would have to pull him through some of this.

"Glad to meet you. So, since you know me, I assume you know what kind of business I do."

"Indeed." Tseng responded. "I'm looking to spend quite a bit of cash today."

"Hmm… a rich man I see. Well, I've got plenty of choices for you to choose from. Come outside with me to my table to take a small peak at what I have."

"With pleasure." Tseng answered and followed Lance out to the table.

Lance began talking along the way. "I was just making business with an old friend of mine."

"Hmm… no wonder I came over to ask you to sell me something."

"I see. Come sit down Shan."

Tseng scooted into a chair and folded his hands on the table.

"You're looking to spend a lot of money, well, I have all of the recommendations for people who're looking to spend a lot." Lance said, reaching out to grab his sack. "Pardon my rudeness. This is my good old friend from years back, Dalai."

"Nice to meet you." Tseng said, shaking Dalai's hand.

"I'm in the business too." Dalai said, dropping Tseng's hand. "But nobody is as good as my buddy Lance. Say… I was just about to ask you awhile ago, what happened to that girl you knew so well?"

"Oh um… Liana?" Lance replied shakily.

"Yeah." Dalai replied.

"Oh…" Lance answered quickly. Tseng could tell he was fishing for an answer inside his head. "We couldn't get in contact that often, so we just broke apart that's all. However, I'm planning to meet her again very soon. Yes, very soon indeed."

"Yeah whatever man. You dumped her didn't you?"

Lance's eyes dimmed a little as Dalai said it. "It's none of your business. I have some work to take care of here, let's see what we have."

Lance's bag dumped out onto the table. The table was in a small shadowed area of the bar. Nobody would really look over there to see what was happening. Tseng watched as glittering pieces of Materia fell onto the table, in shades of red, blue, and yellow. Lance smiled as Dalai and 'Shan' gazed into their beauty.

"I assume you like them?" Lance asked, not in the tone of asking a real question.

Tseng nodded. "I do. Yes yes…"

Dalai stared wide-eyed as well. "Damn man, you got some pricking antiques here dammit!"

Tseng smiled with the remark and asked, "Can I see them closely now?"

"Go right ahead. If you pay the price, half in advance, they are yours." Lance said, his arms folded across his chest.

Lance smiled again as the two looked over his precious gems.

Tseng couldn't really decide which ones he wanted. Finally, he just chose two at random and said, "All right now." He said, holding the two up. "I want these babies."

Lance nodded his head and replied, "All right, you have an Fury Enemy Skill, which can learn more techniques than the older version can, and a Giga All Materia which can cast Mega All on your whole party's Materia. That would be a big price to pay my friend. One million, half in advance my good friend."

Tseng didn't really care, after boosting up a couple All Materia and selling them, it wouldn't matter much to him lose a million. In fact, he had it all with him, so he wouldn't have to run in with this guy again.

But then again, he was about to die, so what difference would it make? Tseng would get his gil back anyway.

"One million." Tseng repeated and crunched his hand inside his pants pocket. "I got one million right here my man. All in advance."

"Why…" Lance said, clinking the money into the empty sack. "You're too generous for your job description."

"Well being nice is in my resume."

Dalai gazed at them both with a small interest, then he continued to peek at his choices.

Lance smirked and shook Tseng's hand. "Well Shan, you have yourself a deal. One Fury Enemy Skill and a Giga All. Will that be all for you?"


"All right then. I'll keep in touch with you. You come here often?"

Tseng shook his head. "I keep mainly in the lines of Midgar dealing my Lance."

Lance's eyes opened in awe. "Wow, damn you deal them there?"

"Whenever I get the chance."

Lance smiled. "I underestimated you at first. You get good prices the closer you are to getting caught with Shinra."

Tseng nodded. "I know. That's the beauty of it."

Lance smiled again, showing his white teeth. "I like your style. We should keep in touch more often. Perhaps even I could buy a couple Materia from you."


"So, I assume you're in Midgar a lot?"

Tseng replied, "Yes mostly. Sometimes in the surrounding areas. I only come out this way once in a long while. I haven't been here to Nibelheim to deal Materia for two years."

Lance said, "I know how that is. I usually end up around Rocket Town. I never really come here. It's so small and there isn't many out to buy really."

Tseng winked his right eye. "But I think there are some people willing…"

Lance laughed a little bit. "Yes indeed."

Finally, Dalai had something to say in the bit. "Okay, I want these now!!"

Lance waved off 'Shan' because he had to get heading back for Midgar. Tseng left the bar and began to walk cleanly down the path. Once the bar was out of his sight, he pulled out his phone and dialed Rude's number just about when he was entering the town.

It rang and rang, and finally, Rude answered.


"Yes, it's me. I bought off a little time with Lance, a quick change in plans. How are you going so far? Found anything?"

Rude coughed on the other end. "In fact, I just found what we've been looking for. It was in a separate sack under the hotel bed. The blue Mako is right here, plus some Materia."

"Grab it all." Tseng replied. "We don't have time to lose. Do you know where Reno is?"

Rude answered, "I saw him go back to the ship. He should be there. Call him right now. Where are you?"

"Outside of Nibelheim. I'll meet you at the airship in…?"

"Fifteen minutes."

Tseng hissed. He knew it was pushing the time limit. The Dalai guy already was picking out his Materia when Tseng left the bar. "You better hurry you ass along, I'll try and buy a little more time. I saw Lance ordering a drink and a meal when I left, maybe we'll luck out. Run Rude!"

"See you in ten then!!" Rude said and hung up.

Tseng put his phone back where it belonged and he dashed in the opposite direction to head for the airship parked out there.

He knew he didn't have much time. And he hoped that Reno was there, or else they would be leaving without him. But after that strange thing that happened in the bar, he assumed that Reno would probably be chilling out in the airship smoking a cigarette. First, before he did anything, he pulled out his phone and cursed himself for putting it back when he needed to use it again.

He dialed Reno's cell phone number.

That was basically how they kept in contact with each other when they weren't together.

"Hey, Reno here."

"Reno, thank the Lord I got a hold of you! Where are you?!"

"I'm in the airship where you told me to go, where did you think I was going to be?"

"I don't know!" Tseng replied. "Halfway up to Mont Nibel?!"

"Nope. I'm here chilling out. What's the scoop?"

"Later Reno. Save it for later. I got trouble I need to deal with now. See you later!" Tseng hung up the phone before Reno could say anything else. That way, he wouldn't have to screw up their mission.

He bolted as fast as his legs could carry him all the way to the airship. He didn't look at his watch when he passed the bar up along the way and he didn't look at it when he arrived o the airship. He waited impatiently until Rude got there.

"Hurry up!!" Tseng yelled as Reno turned on the ship's engine. The roaring was thunderous. "Hand it to me!!" Tseng reached his arms out.

Rude quickly handed him the sack and jumped up onto the ship. He dashed inside the ship and bombed out on the couch. His breathing was irregular.

"This mission isn't over yet!" Tseng screamed as he ran into the cockpit with the sack. "We got to get this to the President before this mission is over. Reno, get us out of here!!"

"You got it chief!!" Reno said, and slammed down hard on the throttle. The ship quickly gained speed and began to rise high up into the air.

"Ahh… that was great!" Reno said. "I beat Rude at pool, and you at a couple of games of darts! Those bar type games are my specialty man."

"I bet they are." Tseng replied, sitting down in the copilot's chair. "Focus on piloting the ship and I won't ring your neck."

"Sorry sorry…" Reno said, shaking his hands like he was scared of Tseng. "I'll get us out of h-"


Tseng turned his head while Reno kept his eyes out onto the land below.

Rude came running in from the couch he was laying on before.

"There's a ship fast approaching us!! It's going to crash in with ours!!"

Tseng's face turned upside down. "Dammit!" he yelled. "Do they have heavy artillery?"

"Yes sir." Rude answered. "More than that. Whoever this is, the guy's got a cannon."

Reno's hands dug deep into his pocket for a cigarette. "Shit!" he said, putting it in his mouth. "We're going to have to outrun the little bastard eh?"

"I don't know if we can!" Rude shouted.

"You are so naive."

"Shut up Reno! I ain't piloting the ship here, keep your eyes out there!"

"You try flying this thing for once and you'll see how easy it is!"

"Oh please, I'm no the one to do your dirty work!!"

Reno smiled. "All the more gil for me then when my paycheck arrives…" His fingers danced over the controls of the airship.

Tseng screamed, "All right, would you two stop your goddamn bickering!! Reno, pilot the damn ship! Rude, go sit down and look out for the enemy ship! I'll take control of the guns on the lower level!"

Reno stayed in his spot while the others went to their stations. Reno turned on the intercom to talk to the others.

"I don't see the ship here, where the hell is it Rude?"

There was crackling static. "I just came here, and… I see it! Five o'clock behind you! Tseng, man the guns!! Five o'clock behind us!"

More static. "I copy. I'm almost in position to shoot."

Reno kept the ship at a steady rate. "Shoot dammit!"

He heard a satisfying crackling of bullets being shot out through the guns and the scream of Tseng's voice. "Shit! He's charging the fucking cannon!"

The crackling static suddenly became clear as the man from the other ship responded.

"This is Dalai, report you bastard! You better hand over Lance's sack there or I'll blow you up!"

Tseng shook in the gun seat.

Reno answered, "Well you know, if you blow us up, you'll lose the sack too. Not wise my friend."

"Damn you all to hell!!" Dalai screamed and shot his cannon. Rude blocked his eyes from the window and Tseng continued to wildly fire his guns again and again.

The beam missed them by only meters in the sky. Tseng yelled out, "Dammit Dalai!! Get the hell outta here if you still want to live!!"

Reno smiled as he pressed a button to release the large stored laser beam cannon from the storage. "I'll give you ten seconds to run little fellow, before I blow your hide away!!"

Dalai made no response. Finally, he said, "Oh? And you think you could blow me away with that puny piece of artillery? Think again!!"

He began to charge his cannon again.

Rude spoke on the intercom. "Reno, how long will it take to charge the laser beam cannon?"

"About two minutes."

"Dammit, if this guy gets in another shot and hits us, we may have no other options left."

"I always have a back-up plan Rude."

Tseng smiled as Reno said that. A calm peace came over him suddenly. He continued firing his guns. He switched to laser beams.

Reno yelled out, "All right! His cannon is almost charged! I'm veering left, better hold on people!!"

Dalai screamed over the intercom. "Your days are outnumbered you bastards! I'll blow you to Wutai!!"

Reno only smirked as he violently steered the ship to its left. The cannon shot out from the other ship and rocked the air as it missed them by meters again.

"Good call Reno!" Tseng called up.

"Only in my job description. We're not through yet though!"

Dalai screamed out again. "Damn you kids!"

Reno peeked at the cannon charger. It was eighty-three percent finished. About another twenty seconds or so maybe.

"How much longer Reno?" Rude asked.

"Hold on, and hold on for your dear life you guys, this is going to shake you up!"

The cannon was about charged when Reno finished his words. Dalai yelled out from the ship's intercom. "One blast from my cannon and you'll be dead. I won't miss this time!!"

"Think again!!" Reno shouted back and pressed the ship's button to release the laser beam. He slammed forward and into the control panel as the ship launched an all powerful beam into the ship behind them.

Dalai didn't notice it in time and was blown away almost instantly. His last thoughts were… "Holy shiiiiiiiiiiii---"

Before he finally blew up with his airship.

Reno smiled as the ship displayed sparks of red and orange flames. The smoke rose high into the air, and debris showered onto the airship Reno was piloting.

He wiped the blood from the cut on his forehead. "Hey guys we did it!!"

Tseng replied, "We sure did."

"Damn right we did." Rude said.

Whoops and hollers were heard over the intercom. Everyone celebrated their grand victory over Dalai.

A few minutes later, when Tseng was unfastened from the gun seat, the were all back inside the cockpit, now with Tseng driving the airship.

"Shit, that was great!" Rude said, slapping Reno a high five.

"Yup. Mission accomplished."

"Almost…" Tseng said, turning the ship a little more to the east. "We need to get the blue Mako to President Shinra. Then we'll be done with our mission."

"We never killed Lance though…" Rude said suddenly.

"I don't think that matters. We have the blue Mako now. We can kill him later." Tseng said.

"Well, we better get this mission over with, I'll say." Rude declared.

Reno smiled and laughed. "All right, next stop… Midgar!!"

Chapter 7

Amber Gehrke's Fanfiction