The Color of Blood Chapter 11
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
Cetralin, Destilian 12:30 AM June 3
Nanaki hadn't moved in almost five days. He was sitting in the temple, barely breathing. He was at complete calm. His tail swished silently, otherwise totally still. Pure solitude. Anthony and Kianki were back in Cosmo Canyon already, but Nanaki wouldn't leave. It felt so much like he was becoming one with the temple. Silent prayers escaped him, nothing more. He was dehydrated, hungry, tired, but he wouldn't leave. He couldn't.
"Nanaki, dude. Come on. You've got to eat something." Nanaki's eye opened and stared long and hard at Cait, with some sense of hate. Nanaki went back to his prayer, the anger leaving his face. As Cait turned around, he heard a sound from Nanaki like nothing he had ever heard. It was loud, causing the walls to shake, sounding like train, an explosion, and a shriek all at once, meshed into one horrible sound. Cait turned around, and saw Nanaki sitting, staring at him. "Are you okay?" Nanaki nodded. "What was that?"
"What is it?"
"In me..." His face was non-chalant. "It..."
"What is it?"
"I don't know."
"Jenova..." Nanaki's face twisted in fear and anguish. He threw himself at Cait, pinning him. "Help me..."
"Okay! Just get off!" Nanaki stepped back, feeling faint.
"What's happening?" He collapsed. Cait ran to him, and felt his neck, checking for a pulse.
"Nanaki! Wake up!" The pulse was weakening. "SHIT! Some one get down here! Anybody!" He continued cursing and hitting Nanaki. "Damn it, man! Wake up! You fucking ass! Get up!" He stood up and kicked Nanaki in the stomach.
"Now that ain't nice..." Nanaki stood up, but his eye had no pigment.
"Na... Nanaki?" Cait pressed against the wall. "Ya' okay?"
"My name isn't Nanaki."
"Oh shit..." Cait found himself mauled, and bleeding, but alive. Nanaki screamed, and grabbed his head with his paws. His eye's pigment returned.
"Cait? Oh god..." Cait had his stomach slashed open.
"Nanaki, man. Help me..."
"I... I... I can't..."
"Yes you can... You can help... Please..." Cait coughed up blood and began to cry. "I don't want to die..."
"You're not going to die. Just hold on a few more minutes and you'll be fine." Nanaki looked around, panicked. Cait collapsed, barely alive, using most of his energy up crying. Blood pooled around him.
"I always wondered what it's like...to die..."
"You'll have to take a rain check. Now hold still..." Nanaki took a deep breath, thinking.
"If I had fingers I'd cross them."
"What are you trying to do?"
"Save your life, now hold still and be quiet." Nanaki put his paw on Cait's head. Cait began to feel very weak, and felt his heart stop. Nanaki didn't stop though. Cait found he could still see. He was certainly dead. He couldn't move or hear, but could see Nanaki. All he could do was see and feel the floor. He tried to yell, but he couldn't. He felt tears stream down his face. His thoughts were all that kept his sanity for what seemed to be an eternity. Nanaki didn't move though.
"Please work..." He couldn't squeeze his eyes shut, but he could pray. "Damn it. What is taking you so long?" He found he was crying harder. "What if it doesn't work? What if this is death? I don't want to die. Please don't let me die! If this is death, I hate it!" He began to feel lightheaded. His sight began to darken.
"I won't lose..." Nanaki concentrated harder, trying to transfer his energy into Cait. Cait's sight began to get clear again. How Nanaki knew that Cait had almost truly died was beyond the knowledge of any creature on the planet at that time.
"Come on..." Cait began to calm down. He had a sudden wave of pure bliss. He knew he would live. Cait's wounds began to seal slowly. He could hear again. His senses began to come back to him. He blinked his eyes and opened his mouth.
"Ot' damn!" Nanaki stumbled back.
"Holy shit! It worked!" Nanaki stared at Cait. "I did it..." Cait nodded, and felt his stomach. Still sore, but he was alive.
"How did you do that?"
"I just wanted you to live I guess. I'm not sure... I'm not supposed to be able to do things like that... I just knew you would live, and you did." He turned away from the cat. "I guess you could call it a working iniative of my own fault."
"Nevermind." Cait stared at his stomach, and then Nanaki.
"Something is all very wrong with this..."
Valhalla, Lab 12:35 AM June 6
Rufus walked silently along a metal catwalk. Dark Nation follwed with his metal leg, earned in the explosion. "Something will happen today that will be the greatest event of all time. Better then all times before it. The day when I end their pathetic struggle against me!" Rufus unlocked a thick metal door, leading into a small booth with a control panel. "Yes... Today... My day is today!" He ran his hand down the panel, feeling the different buttons. "So beautiful. So incredible. So deadly. Everything you could want in anything, packed into one..." He lowered his finger to a button. "...little..." He pressed it. "...panel..."
Golden City, Northern Sector 12:37 AM June 6
Through the harmless, beautiful still of the night, a small flicker of light pressed through the darkness. Like a star dangling hopelessly in a void, it flickered. But of such stars, none brought upon a civilization so much pain. With that, a bright flash shot down and obliberated the quiet sector of the Golden City. All of that beauty, all of the life in it, gone. It was eliminated. Not one tear had fallen. No one had a chance. Rufus had miscalculated the feelings of people though. With a destructive weapon capable of such chaos was fired, he had no idea that mere citizens of a city would show so much anger. Within hours, over four hundred civilians were armed with guns, swords, spears, axes, knives, explosives, and anything else they could take. Jacob Cole dragged himself onto the back of truck, being the one who had told the people to ready themselves. Jacob was thirty-eight with a son and a wife. He hid them both in a cellar, and readied himself. "Alright everyone..." Shouts and speech swallowed his words. "Hey!" Still drowned out. "SHUT UP!" He fired his rifle into the air. They all stopped and stared at him. "What are you all doing talking? They just destroyed OUR city. Not all of it, no, but it was home to our friends, our families, and they laid waste to it. I know I'm not the most honorable person..."
"Being a thief runs in the family. It wasn't taught from generation to generation. It's in our genes." With that, a young Jacob pocketed several items from a counter and snuck out of the store with his friend, a young Cid Highwind.
"Everyday I live with the fact that it was my fault..."
Jacob, nineteen, saw a boy running across a field, followed by a group of soldiers. The boy dove into a pit. Jacob ran over and picked him up and threw him at the soldiers. "Thank you, boy." They threw the boy on the ground and prepared to kill him.
"What'd he do?"
"Stole from the Shinra's private residence in Niblehiem"
"Look, kid. We're just following orders. Now get out of here. Your president thanks you."
"Fuck him! He ain't my president! No true man would ever order a young boy executed!"
"Listen here boy! If you don't get out of here now, I'll order my mine to fire upon you as well!"
Jacob silenced himself and looked at the ground, crying silently. He whispered to himself, "I should have stayed." He looked back at the crowd. "We will fight. We will kill every last one of the bastards. I want the city of Corel emptied of their greed. I want it emptied of their twisted morals."
"We can't win against an entire army, Jake." Caleb looked at him. Murmurs spread through the crowd.
"What? You don't think this is worthy cause? You don't think that THAT is worthy cause? Then what will you fight for? Will you fight for your own lives? Will you fight for your homes? Are you that greedy? Can't you give for others? If you can't then you should get out of this city! I've lived here since it was freed of Shinra rule, and I shall continue to! I will fight until the blood runs cold from my chest! I know you may not care, but my sister Laura lived in that part of the city. She's gone now because of them..."
"It ain't our fight, man..."
"Oh no. You don't give me that shit. I will take your head and twist it right the fuck off if you say that shit Caleb! I helped you do everything cause you're so incompetent. You couldn't even hold a job, so I gave you one. Your girlfriend had twins, I helped get her to a hospital. You broke your leg, I bandaged it."
"But I didn't involve gettin' shot at!"
"Maybe not, but if it did, I'd still go. Besides, I didn't have to do those things. I could have been like every other heartless bastard and let you deal with it yourself!" Caleb muttered and pumped his shotgun.
"Well, if I die today, I'm gonna kick your ass." He threw several shells into his pocket and walked away.
Corel, Streets 9:23 AM June 6
Gun fire blazed through the streets. The band of forces from the Golden City were joined by several of Reeve's units. Fire scorched through the city. Everything was incinerated. The second burning of Corel began. No one was spared. In the end, only four people survived. Jacob, Caleb, a young boy, and a young woman. Corel burned to the ground. A desert of ash covered the streets. Mere bits of rubble showed the place where houses once stood.
Cosmo Canyon, Observatory 12:45 PM June 6
Nanaki moved to Destilian quickly, leaving Seto, Anthony, and Kianki to live at the observatory. Ras and Ranika were taught by Seto and the elders, while Anthony and Kianki continued extending their knowledge of the gift they had. However, a seemingly happy life in the small house was all too well. As with all things great, it was to be shattered by an event that couldn't possibly be matched by anything that has passed.
Anthony and Ras were both sitting over a book, staring at the brittle pages. Anthony was reading to his son, explaining the history of Cetra and Celtarion in full. Though he wasn't supposed to teach Ras or Ranika, Ras had a great thirst for knowledge, and Anthony wouldn't deprive either son of knowledge that he found important. Anthony and Ras fell asleep on a couch. The instant they had fallen asleep, their pain had entered.
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