A Secret Conflict Part I
A Dream is a Wish
By Star Kitten
A dark mist enveloped him. A cold chill gnawed at his skin. He stared out into the darkness uncertainly, a soft voice's whisper his only sign that he was not alone in the sea of nothingness. The mist parted, and a slim, delicate figure slowly emerged from within the thick fog.
"Lucrecia " He gasped in awe.
The scenery around the two suddenly shifted and changed. The darkness turned to a bright warm sunlight. The freezing chill to a cool, sweet wind. Buildings stood alone and abounded around them, the familiar sulfuric stench of mako in the air. He recognized the area instantly. Nibelheim. The place that had haunted him for years in his own dreams. The place where his whole life had been shattered in a single night. He realized he was dressed in his Turks uniform. His left hand was as it had been then, normal and without the monstrous steel claw that had ever been a reminder of the torment he faced.
Lucrecia smiled warmly to him, a look he had almost forgotten through the years following the 'incident'. "Vincent." She called to him again, her voice barely audible. The look in her eyes was pained and fraught with worry, though she tried so hard to look contented before him.
"Please " She begged him. "I haven't much time "
"Time?" He echoed, stepping closer to her. "Time for what?"
"I came to warn you " She replied tersely, jerked back away. "Something terrible is about to happen And Soon."
Vincent stared at the young woman wearily. He couldn't understand exactly what she meant, or exactly what it was that troubled her so. "What is it?" He asked her. "What's going to happen?"
She turned away from him suddenly at the question, averting her eyes away from his concerned gaze. He knew she wanted to avoid answering him. "Because " She whispered, he voice even softer than before. "Hojo I-I don't know how I just can feel it "
He stared at her skeptically. "How could that be?" He retorted, trying to dismiss the throughout that Hojo could still possibly be alive. "I was there at the Sister Ray, and it was I who dealt the final blow to him. I watched him die at that platform." His voice rising in annoyance at the very thought of the crazed lunatic who had mutilated so many innocent people for his own twisted pleasure. "It's impossible." Vincent said indefinitely, folding his arms tightly.
"Is anything so impossible?" Lucrecia retorted in an equally annoyed tone. "You've seen what can happen! You've seem what he was capable of. Hell, You saw what he did to himself! And you tell me it's impossible?" She sighed heavily, and shook her head. "What does it matter ' She muttered. "No matter what happened, or what anyone else thinks. He's coming "
"But why would that be of any importance?" He asked. "If we beat him once, what difference would it make if he showed up again?"
Lucrecia shook her head again in reply. "It's just that . it's something about you. Somehow, he's going to do something." She turned her gaze to the ground, barely muttering out the last few words. "Something to you, Vincent."
"Ah, how true! Yet somehow, sooo disillusioned. Heh heh" A familiar voice suddenly interjected. The scenery of Nibelheim vanished upon those words, replaced once again by the vast darkness. A deathly pale face grinned back at Vincent, who returned it with a look of sheer contempt. "Oh don't look so angry!" Hojo sighed in an voice that seemed on the verge of laughter. "You should be glad for all that I've given you!"
He paused, his gaze turning thoughtful. Lucrecia stepped back nervously, not wishing to create any other disturbance.
"Heh, it isn't as if I would have let you live back then if I hadn't choose to grace you with my brilliant gifts."
"Gifts?!" Vincent echoed in annoyance. "You call this curse a gift?!" He cried, lifting his metallic claw up. "Do you have any idea what sort of living hell I've been through?! Do you have any idea how many other people have suffered for what you would call progress?!" Hojo merely glared at him blankly, but Vincent continued to rant on.
"You arrogant fool!" He shrieked. "What was it worth?! Just so you could prove you were better than Gast?! Ha!! How can a lunatic like you even compare?! At least he had a shred of decency and compassion in him!!" Again, Hojo only stared at him, devoid of any anger at all. Lucrecia gave him a helplessly weary look. "Vincent don't " She whispered softly.
Vincent ignored her plea to him. Caring only to give the crazed scientist the mutual feeling of rage he felt. "Answer me!" He snapped. "Or have you no sou-" Vincent stopped cold in his sentence.
And with those choked words, Hojo finally showed some sign of emotion. A cold mocking grin crossed his face. He chuckled, pleased with himself. "Vincent, Vincent, Vincent." He sighed in a mock tone of concern. "For someone who tries so desperately to kill off his own emotions still cannot rid of that one primal instinct ..such a pity." His smile broadened at those words. "Especially in your, say situation " He added in a matter-of-fact tone.
Vincent tried to retort at the scientists words. But he found he lacked the voice to so, only a feeble growl left his lips.
"Too bad." Hojo sighed. "You just can't avoid the things I've done for you. Even after trying 'kill off' all that's plagued you." He paced around Vincent in a wide circle, never once taking his eyes off him. "Your past, your feelings, your .loves." He grinned slyly, walking closer to Lucrecia. Vincent tried to cry out, but the words were frozen in his own throat.
Hojo slung his arm around the unknowing woman's neck roughly, pulling an until then concealed knife from his pocket. He pressed it closely to Lucrecia's frail throat. Grinning snidely as he held her tightly, Hojo narrowed the knife's blade to a distance that needed only a slight twitch to puncture her flesh.
"So tell me boy," He sneered. "What is it that you fear most?"
Vincent tried to rush for the lunatic, but he found himself frozen in place. "Damn it!" He cried in frustration, though only an enraged growl left his lips. Hojo laughed, pleased with his twisted ploy.
"Ah, but there's not just one reason, is there now?" He chuckled.
"So tell me " He repeated from before, sounding more as if he was quizzing Vincent. "What is it?"
With those barely whispered words, he gave the final twist the knife. Lucrecia only gave him a hopeless look. More Disappointed than scared.
"Vincent ." She called one final time. Her blood fell like rain drops on the invisible floor. All Vincent could do was watch. All he could hear was Hojo's victorious, defying laughter.
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