The Color of Blood Chapter 14
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
Midgar, Streets 12:34 AM March 28
Reno and Rude sat on a bench, bored out of their minds. "Man... Why'd Tseng do this to us?"
"Cause you slacked off..." Rude was non-chalant.
"Man... Fuck you! Kay? I don't give a damn! I didn't slack off."
"You shot first..."
"Let me finish. You shot first, asking questions later, problem being you shot an undercover special operations officer. Twice."
"So he won't be able to sit down for a week or two. Big deal. Damn whiny cry babies nowadays can't take a shot to the ass." Rude grabbed Reno around the neck and picked him up.
"Alright? You want something to do? Follow me." Rude ran down the street, followed by Reno. Rude walked into a night club, pushing several people out of his way. Reno followed closely behind him, staring at the flashing lights, screaming at Rude, wondering where he was going. Rude stopped in front of a wall and kicked it. A small slit opened with a pair of eyes peering out.
"What do you want? Get out of here." Rude grabbed the cover before he could close it.
"Tell me friend... Do you have problems with being shot in the forehead?"
"Why?" Rude pressed the barrel of his gun to the man's head.
"Because, in this one time deal only, I won't plaster you. Open the door."
"Yu... Yeah." The wall opened and Reno and Rude walked in. "He ain't gonna like this..."
"I can take back the offer."
"No... I have a severe problem with bullets." Reno looked at Rude.
"Who's back here?"
"One of Don Corneo's surviving cronies. I really got a problem with him." Rude opened the last door in the hall and walked into a lavish room with woman, and in the middle sat a man wearing shades, a suit, and a tie.
"Hey Scotch." Rude smiled.
"Oh shit... How'd you get here?"
"You know that magnums, while having no tongues, can speak quite persuasively?"
"What do you want?"
"Now tell me, Scotch. Do you know how many of the laws you've broken?"
"Post and during."
"Pick one." Rude cleared his throat, and thought hard, thinking of the many laws Scotch had broken. "Pimping, murder, first, second, and third degree, assassinations, conspiring with a foreign country we are currently at war with..."
"Wai' wai' wai'. I didn't conspire with Rufus."
"You're men are carrying exclusive Shinra issue weaponry."
"New variants, recently produced by the Shinra Corporation."
"Doesn't mean anything. What can you do to me? Nothing stops money and power."
"Five grams of poisonous lead do." A man in an old trench coat stood in the room with a grayish gun pointed at Scotch.
"Thank ya' Vernon. When does Biggs get here?"
"He's at the bar." Scotch shot his head violently left and right, looking at the three armed men in his room. The women had fled, leaving Scotch alone. His guards were nowhere to be seen.
"Surely we can come to some agreement. Money, power, whores... Anything!"
"Sorry Scotch. It's time to go. I exact punishment upon you. The punishment for treason is execution." Rude put his gun to Scotch's head. "Bang. Your dead. Get out of Midgar. The bar will be liquidated. The whores and pimps arrested. If I ever see you again, I'll tear your eyes, tongue, and nose off, then I'll crush your balls with a ten pound sledge."
"I'll be good."
"Reno, arrest this piece a' shit, take him to the boundary, and drop him off, blind folded and handcuffed."
Shinra Building, Sephiroth's Office 4:55 PM March 30
"Hey. Field this one." Rude dropped a package of orders into Sephiroth's container of various orders.
"Why do I have to?" Sephiroth drank a cup of coffee slowly.
"Reno, Biggs, and I handled the bust on the whore house. I feel too much like a cop now."
"What partners do I have assigned?"
"Uh... Kianki and Vincent."
"Great..." Sephiroth looked quite favorless of his assignment. He shook his head and drank the rest of his coffee.
"I can get you a reassignment. All the one's have you working either with Tseng and Anthony, Kianki and Vincent, Elena and Nanaki in one month, docked pay, or Haktoi and Biggs."
"I thought Biggs filled his qouta."
"He doesn't care."
"Haktoi and Biggs."
"Kay..." Rude flipped through the thin orange packages. "Kay, they are assigned to Rocket Town, doing an investigation on the assassination of Jay Mills."
"Oh... I heard about that."
"Well pack up your shit an' get moving. You are to get to the rendezvous in three days to meet with Anthony and Tseng. Hey man, you here about Reeve's cat?"
"The little freakish thing?"
"Yup. Got promoted to a general." Sephiroth shook his head again and began packing.
Rocket Town, Shanghai Inn 11:43 PM April 1
Sephiroth arrived early with Haktoi and Biggs, meeting up with Anthony and Tseng and Reno, who was forced into the assignment by Tseng. Sephiroth lay in bed, the first night they had reached Rocket Town, as they were to operate during the day there. His head spun with thoughts. It happened so often. He knew the demon wasn't dead. He knew he was being punished. Hate consumed him, twisting his thoughts inside out.
"Sephiroth..." He looked around.
"Biggs?" A distinctive male voice.
"Anthony?" He got a very odd, twisted looked on his face. "Reno?"
"Come to the window..." Sephiroth got out of bed, placing his hand to the window.
"What the hell is going on?" Sephiroth looked into the window.
"I am God..."
Sephiroth woke. A nightmare. He couldn't remember what it was though. He was in bed. A voice. A male voice. He remembered going to the window. What face had he seen? He couldn't remember. It was what had scared him. He knew the face all to well. The face to which he could give no name. A lifeless, hopeless face. Endless hatred. Endless fear. Fear of himself, others. But Sephiroth would give the face no name. The face that was his own.
Rocket Town, Dock 12:34 PM April 2
Sephiroth began the investigation of the dock, believing that the assassination had to do with a cartel of illegal weaponry, most likely smuggled to Valhalla. Without warning, a loud blast threw Sephiroth to the ground. "Gaah! Damn..." It was the phase cannons, followed by blast from a large mako cannon. A red light flashed on the dock, enemy ships plowing through the water. Another blast. "Damn..." Sephiroth grabbed an encroachment from the hull of a ship, as it was sinking. Several more blasts. He clawed his way on top of the ship and ran down the tilting deck to the edge, looking out over the water. He fell backward as another torpedo hit the hull. He slid on the deck, falling into a door. He pulled his leg up, placing his back to the door. Flipping it open, he fell into the small chamber. On the wall, he identified a rifle. It was bulky and had a tripod on the bottom. He couldn't identify it, but grabbed it none the less and leapt off of the ship, into the water where the dock had once been. He crawled up onto the beach and took careful aim with it, aiming to shoot a man on the bridge of a large cruiser. He turned on the electronic scope and zoomed in and out, finding a perfect shot. Sephiroth pulled the trigger. Nothing happened. The gun hummed. "What the... GOD DAMN IT!" As soon as he finished screaming though, a thick beam of energy cut into the man, and blew the bridge off. Sephiroth just stopped. He looked at that gun, then the ship, his eyes flitting back and forth. "Hot diggity damn..." He picked up the gun, a lifeless, yet some how surprised look pasted on him. Without aiming, he shot in the general direction of another ship. The mako cannon and the phase cannons blazed, followed by mortar and machine gun fire. Ships where exploding with vicious screams of horror and pain. Then something so odd, so twistedly freakish, stopped everything. The cannons, ships, Sephiroth. All stopped. A creature, much like a spider, rose out of the water, crushing ships. The creature that destroyed the Emerald WEAPON. All at once, ALL fire, from the ships, the cannons, Sephiroth, soldiers, all...turned on the spider. Insane blasting tore through the thick hide of the creature as it crushed ships.
"Hey man!" Anthony ran up behind Sephiroth. "What's going on?" He was visibly drunk. Anthony peered up at the spider. "Ewww... I hate spiders... That's one big mo' fo'." A final blast from the mako cannon tore an even bigger hole into it, and it disappeared. It appeared that it just broke up into dust, and even then, it continued to break up. Disintegration. "Ewwww... Squished." Sephiroth stared at Anthony, wondering weather to be confused or afraid.
"Maybe you...should...sit. Yes. Sit. Far away."
"Kay!" Anthony ran off and sat down a few yards away. Sephiroth shook his head and went back to aiming the gun. He noticed the ships were thinner. Few were grouped close enough to take the shot he wanted. They began to break up and disperse. Though not realized, it was a major victory. Rufus's navy was suffering severe cut backs, and the ships lost would be difficult to replace.
Niblehiem Mountains, Cave 5:15 PM April 19
A lead Biggs had got in Rocket Town led to a large underground cave in the mountains of Niblehiem. Biggs, Sephiroth, Tseng, Haktoi, Anthony, and Reno were investigating the cave which they were told hid a facility. After much searching, they sat and rested, about to give up. "Biggs... I want you to know something. I hate you. In the most pure form. I loath you."
"But he sounded honest!" Biggs continued to whine about how the man seemed honest.
"Biggs... People like that aren't honest. They're the people who got their asses kicked in school."
"Shut up, Reno..."
"Excuse me. Who are you?" They saw a man wearing a white t-shirt with a gray vest. He wore thick jeans, with a sheath for a very long knife, or a short sword, and another for a hunting knife.
"Who are you?"
"I asked first."
"I don't care."
"Well then I don't care either."
"So... That's that."
"Who the hell are you!?!" Reno and the man screamed in unison. "Hey! Stop that you..."
"I'm not talking any more."
"Neither am I."
"I'll kick your ass."
"I'll kick yours first." The rest of the group just stared at the two.
"Don't make me kill you." The man pulled out a viciously long and menacing blade. Reno loaded his gun and aimed it at the man's head.
"How quick do you think you can run?" Reno fell backward, pulling the shorter knife out of his side. "Gaah! Mother fucka'!" Reno tried to raise his gun, but in vain. His side hurt too much to raise his left arm. "When I get up..."
"If you get up."
"...I'll tear ya' lungs out." Reno stood as best he could and hurled himself at the man, punching with his one good arm. The man kicked him in the groin, and stood back laughing. "You've killed my unborn children!" Even Sephiroth managed stifled laughter, trying to remain serious.
"Well, this has all been very fun, but if you'll excuse me, I'm taking my leave." The man began to walk out of the cave.
"Wait!" Sephiroth chased after him. "Who are you?"
"The name is Jerec Tacartha. I'm a bounty hunter."
"What are you doing here?"
"Looking for a friend of mine. Jacob Cole. You wouldn't have happened to see him?"
"Nah. What would he be doing here?"
"Looking for something. A treasure in most respects. A box."
"A box? What kinda treasure is that?"
"The kind you put other treasures in. A small silver box, with a silver sculpted dragon head. Very nice, very expensive."
"Any other motives?"
"No. Why so many questions? And why the suits? You people look like you're going to a funeral."
"Soon..." Haktoi gritted her teeth, annoyed with the man's demeanor.
"Nu uh. They're idiots. You folks don't look like idiots."
"If looks could kill..." She sat on the ground, still annoyed.
"I mean total jack asses."
"...and if they can't..."
"Just so damn pathetic."
"Sir... I have this problem with hurting people. If you don't shut that hole in your face, I'll rip your lips off." Sephiroth stood shaking, his fists balled up.
"Kay man. Back off." Sephiroth sat in the back of the cave for an hour, staring at something on the ground.
"Seph? Dude? What is it?" Anthony finally got tired of waiting, though slightly drunk again.
"Uh... It's... Come 'ere." They walked over and stared at it. A grayish substance, a thick liquid. Sephiroth finally got the nerve and touched it with his finger. An incredible cold shot into his arm. "Shit!" He fell backward, through the floor of the cave. He fell near twelve feet, landing in a deep pool of water. The rest followed after, except Biggs. Instead Biggs had snuck out of the cave earlier, and lying down in a cool cave with a bottle of wine Anthony had brought.
Niblehiem Mountains, Cavern 7:47 PM April 19
The group was lost in the cavern, not able to find a way out. Tseng stumbled though, falling onto a cold metal slab. He shook his head, trying to get dust off of his face. He ran his hand over the a small indentation in it, and pressed on it. Nothing. He got the dust off of the panel, and found that the dent was made accidentally. It looked like a very heavy person had jumped onto it, or a blunt object had fallen onto it. He blew away more dust and dirt, seeing that it had a tower engraving. As he walked along the floor, he found more and more panels, all with a different symbol. Towers, dragons, wolves, various others all adorned the heavy metal plates. He found the rest of the group and directed them down the long path way. He had just noticed how smooth the walls and the roof of this part of the cave was. He rapidly hurried his pace down the corridor, which slanted downward, until he came to a huge room of sorts, with path ways to large buildings carved out of the stone, leading over a pool of mako which gave the structure a green hue. It was a city of stone and ash. Tseng entered one of the buildings, finding it filled with gold and fancy ornaments of the rich. A solid gold chair, a throne, on which there sat a skeleton, with rings and a crown, and holding a scepter with a skull of crystal placed on top of it. He opened another door. More skeletons, including one of a dog sitting next to a chair, filled the room, like some eternal party for the dead. Many sat in chairs, with golden goblets and silver plates set before them, with wine in the cups, seemingly freshly poured. A vision flashed into Tseng's head. A vision of a great party, men and woman laughing and enjoying themselves. The vision left.
"Tseng! Damn man, wait up." Reno stood in the door way. "This place is freaky." He walked over behind one of the chairs and moved the skeletons jaw up and down, spitting out curses, and general cruelties to the dead. "Some one didn't eat enough. Damn, what the hell happened?"
"They were placed here."
"A huge grave."
"A whole city?"
"Yes. A necropilis. A whole city filled with dead people."
"Well, it looks so old. No cob webs, spiders, dust. They would have all fallen apart by now."
"Reno, what did you major in?"
"You don't know shit about biology. How the hell did you pass forensics?"
"I didn't. I passed my terrorism class."
"The college you went to was fucked up. Anyway, it must be how close to the lifestream they are. The mako must be infusing them with some quality to lessen their decay."
"Can we get out of here? This place is fucking with me."
"Only if you write and file this report."
"Fine fine. Now, can we please get back to finding a way out of here?" Tseng turned around, seeing the skeleton from the throne.
"BWAH! Get it away from me!" Tseng jumped up and ran across the table, the skeleton crumbling to the ground.
"Necromancy kicks ass!" He looked back and saw Anthony laughing.
"I'm docking your pay one month."
Anthony stopped for a moment, silent. "Kay." The bones stood back up and went to sit back on the golden chair, in the position it had originally been in.
Tseng looked around the room again. "Shoulda brought Vincent. He might enjoy this kinda shit. I'm getting outta here. It's starting to mess with me too."
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