The Color of Blood Chapter 16


By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley

Shinra Building, Training Dojo 12:56 PM May 9

Nanaki felt his head smack off the hard mat. He groaned and stood, thinking he'd be better off being thrown onto the concrete. Tifa slid his feet back out from under him. "Concentrate!" Tifa was quite militant when it came to teaching others her style off martial arts, developed over years of hard work. After a few minutes of sparring, she threw Nanaki against the wall. "That's enough of you. Get your brother."

"Can't you get him?"

"He's still asleep."

"Ah... Yell at him!"

"No. I know how he gets after being woke up."

"Yeah... So... You could beat him lifeless. I'm too sore." Tifa walked over and grabbed Nanaki by his throat.

"Get him. He's your little brother..."

"I don't care!" She began to squeeze. "Very wew..." He could barely breath, squeaking and with a high pitch. She let go of his throat. "Kianki! Wake him up!" Kianki sat on a bench next to Anthony. Anthony sat looking completely ridiculous, with long, blood red hair. Kianki shook him, and then whispered that he had to practice with Tifa in his ear when he was half awake.

"Huh? I dun wanna... I'm too tired..."

"Get up!"

"Yes ma'am! I'm awake!" He shook his head, blinking his eyes.

Nanaki mumbled, "Yeah... That's whipped."

He stood up, and stumbled to the mat, zombie-like. Tifa got into a stance to begin fighting, but Anthony just stared at her. "I dun wanna fight ya'. Come on..."

"Tony..." Tifa sighed. "Fight and I'll give you..." She stood and thought for a second. "It'll be something nice."

"Kay..." With that said Tifa punched him in the gut and hit him in the back. "My spine!" He lost his breath. "Damn woman..."

"Concentrate!" She kicked him in the stomach as he stood up again. "Concentrate, damn you! Why can't you concentrate!" Through gasps he managed to reply.

"Cause you're hittin' me, you bitch!" Tifa stopped a moment, staring at him. In this second, Anthony punched her in the gut. "Don't think I won't hit a woman... 'Specially if she's tryin' to kill me." Tifa punched him in the chin and then the chest, knocking him back.

"That was..." Her glare and wicked hateful look disappeared. "That was fun." Tifa hadn't got to keep in shape much, save running the Turks personal dojo, teaching them various forms of martial arts. She had even paid to have the dojo built, from her own funds that came from the bar she still owned. She kissed Anthony on the forehead, and then punched him again in the stomach. "Wuss..." She smiled and sat down for a moment, drinking a glass of ice water she had waiting for her.

"Okay... I fought you... I want something nice..." Anthony sat on his knee, panting from lack of breath.

"You're a very intelligent and sweet-hearted individual. Now go away."

"That's it?"

"It's a nice compliment. You should feel flattered." Anthony grumbled and coughed as he went back to the bench, falling asleep.


Ith Taro, Catacombs 5:23 PM May 9

Ra sat before his newly constructed dimension gate. He had sustained it in a round arch of mythril. A swirling nexus of blue and purple energy, glimmering. One artifact was all that he required. It was a certain skull of a long dead hero. Ra had destroyed the Temple of Angia to retrieve it. The skull of man named Butz. Ra crushed the skull and tossed the dust of it into the gate. A clear wave of energy glazed over it. Ra threw back his head laughing. His insanity was complete. All over the world, small lights flashed, blinking to Ith Taro, and then resting in Ra's hand. Before him he created an army of demons and sent them through the gate. Behind him, a voice yelled at him. "Ra!" He turned and saw Lord Cait Sith.

"You! What do you want? Do you have this month's worth of information.

"Yes...but only if you tell me what you are doing."

"Etigin... Get out of here or join..."

"Join what?"

"Etigin. You wish to protect this world, do you not?"

"Of course."

"Then help me take this world. You can... You can build a palace upon the grounds of this world, and raise an army to protect your pitiful cause."


"Then I shall go now... Gu' day." Ra gave a bow, and entered the portal.


Unknown, Time Unknown

Ra materialized outside of the doors of a large building. It was giant with sandstone walls and great pillars. There were glyphs along the outside of the wall. Ra pressed the door open, at the same time, making him appear human. He had black hair with a dark tan skin. He entered a long room, covered with the same glyphs. It reminded him of a temple he had designed long ago. At the end there stood several gaurds with a man on an elevated throne of sand stone. The gaurds rushed at Ra, but he rose his hand, and they all fell back, burning. The man's language was difficult to understand. The man fell and bowed before him. Ra stared at him, smiling. "Ra..." He turned and rushed through the portal again.


Unknown, Time Unknown

Ra materialized again, on a hill overlooking a town. A town of thatched straw and wood. A town on fire. From the blaze, what appeared to be soldiers marched from the flames. They carried long, broad swords, wore chain mail, and helmets. Over the mail were thick cloth robes with crosses on them. He knew that symbol. Long ago, he had seen a church. The last church he had ever seen. It had a large ivory and wooden cross atop it. Followers of the same faith?Impossible. They were apparently quite violent, but Ra remembered the War of Pandaoi. A holy war. This is where Ra would begin his reign. He realized that structure had advanced. Perhaps he still had followers from the time before (if in fact it was before). Ra once again changed form, to a soldier like those below him. He had a thick plated shield though, and a powerful, long hammer. He was the first of a soon to be holy sect. He learned their religion, and acted as they did. He fought alongside them, slaughtering HIS enemies. Muslims, Jews, or heathens. All the same to him. Those meant to be ruled. Ra, since he was immortal, saw all of the Crusades of Earth. A holy land, as far as he knew. Ra finally stopped. He left that time and place, searching for a time when the world was ripe with even more hatred, destruction, death. Ra explored the beginning of this world, and found the end would only come when he decided. Ra found no time he would select destruction of the Earth. He left the world, his mark upon it none the less, and went to search for the world that he would deem worthy of his rule.


Ith Taro, Catacombs 5:31 PM May 9

Ra stepped out of the portal, seeing Lord Cait still staring at the entrance. "So... Are you ready to tell me what you know?"

"Ra. Pray that Chaos destroys you in anger before I rip your heart out." Ra growled and threw Lord Cait into the dimensional gate.


Unknown, Time Unknown

Lord Cait hit the ground hard, feeling his legs fall out from beneath him. He looked around, seeing green rolling hills beyond him, and several forests. He stood up and looked around for his crown. He looked up, and tall man with red hair and brown eyes was looking at him. He said something, that seemed quite familiar to him. Sounded like a dialect of Conerian. "Hello?" Cait looked at the man who seemed to stagger, silent now. "I said hello. Where am I?" The man just stared at him. It seemed obvious the man understood, but was scared. He muttered, turned around and babbled something incoherent, and passed out.


Midgar, Reeve's House 9:23 PM May 9

Cait lay collapsed in Tifa's lap, asleep. Tifa was sitting on the edge of her bed, staring out the window. Tifa sighed, looked at Cait, and then the window again. "I'm bored... Bored, bored, bored, bored..." Cait yawned and looked up at her, half awake.

"What's wrong?"

"I'm lonely and have no one to talk to..."

"Talk to me."

"We have nothing in common."

"Does anyone you talk to have something in common with you? No... Not until you find out..."


Midgar, Shinra Building 9:45 PM May 9

Reeve stared at Angus standing across from his desk. "Uh hu... So you..."

"Yeah man. Don't tell Cid though man. He'd kill me."

"Not if I do first..." Cid was standing behind him.

"You slept with my wife... You fucking..." Cid punched him in the face as he turned and proceeded to break his nose. Cid's adrenaline kicked in as he lifted him off the ground, both hands choking Angus. "I will kill you!" Angus looked at Reeve.

"Do something!"

"Hey. I'm not the one choking you."


Valhalla, Lab 9:56 PM May 9

"The process is complete." The lab technician hit a button and the plate glass slid open. A thin gangly man stepped out, skeletal with sunken eyes and black hair. "Dr. Hojo?"

"My last name is Valentine, imbecile. Get me some clothing."

"Yes... Dr. Valentine."


Valhalla, Streets 9:59 PM May 9

Vernon walked he streets, a shroud covering all but his glowing eyes. A tap came to his shoulder, and he turned to a familiar face. Arkon. His brother. "What are you doing here?"

"My job." Arkon stabbed Vernon in the chest.

"I am as you, and can not die."

"I know... Tis' a pity brother. Well, kill you later." Arkon slit his throat, Vernon dying for the seven hundred and twelfth time since his brother's curse.


Midgar, Shinra Building 10:32 PM May 9

Kianki sat sadly across from Anthony. "I don't think I can do this anymore, Ranika."

"I can't stop... Why can you?"

"I can't either, but I can't keep going. I'm going to go back to the canyon tommorow. I've already sent my letter of resignation. Please come back with me."

"I can't..."

"WHY!?!" She flew into rage.

"Because I won't stop until I kill them all."

"What's gotten into you!?! All you ever think about is killing people..."

"They have to pay..."

"You're starting to sound like Vincent." He did, with monotone speech, a dead look on his face.

"Stay here with me... You don't have to do anything. If you don't want this job anymore, I won't force you to do it. I won't quit." Kianki kissed him softly, and let tears stream down her face. By morning, she had left with her son. Anthony sat alone in his office, no one to talk to. He already missed them. Standing, he punched a hole through his office wall into her now vacant one. Letting rage overcome him, his suit was but a torn pile of fabric, and he was once more his true self. Now he was different though. He was twisted and demented, as he had been many times before and would have stayed that way if he didn't have some one to protect or worry about. He left the building quietly then, walking out into the street, causing a slight bit of commotion, as Celtarions were a rare sight in the city. Anger consumed his heart. The battle for his soul had been surely lost.


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