The Color of Blood Chapter 7
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
Cosmo Canyon, Cosmo Candle 1:25 AM September 20
Three years passed. Anthony sat with his two sons, Ras and Ranika, staring into the embers of the Cosmo Candle. His sons could speak quite well, and were like their father in most respects. Kianki walked over to them. "Anthony... Are you going to keep them up all night?"
"I know it is important that they learn all of this...but it is very early."
"Please take them to bed."
"Yes. Boys, you heard your mother. Go to bed. We'll continue tommorow."
"Oh... We don't want to go!"
"You have to. She's right. It is too late for you two to be awake." The two looked at the ground.
"Alrigh'..." Ras began to walk away, followed soon after by Ranika.
"You know Kianki... We got two real great sons... I mean...they both act like me..."
"Oh dear god..."
"They think like me..."
"God help us..."
"...and they're apt students."
"Good...you finished your ego trip."
"What!?! I wasn't having an ego trip!"
"Like hell you weren't! I'll spell it out. E G O T R I P."
"Okay then... Don't shut up."
"I won't then."
"I'm happy for you."
"So am I."
"Okay then." They both stared at each other, greatly confused. "I'm going to bed..."
"So am I..."
Shinra Building, Reeve's Office 12:34 PM September 20
"This is wrong..."
"No it isn't..."
"It's just silken chocolate, and only fourty calories." Reeve and Tifa sat across from each other, eating pudding. "Besides... You're too thin, and I don't eat enough." Reeve finished his and threw the cup toward the trash can. It missed, and crashed on the ground.
"These are glass?"
"I guess so... I didn't know about it... Damn."
"Can I try?"
"Go ahead." She scrapped up her pudding and threw it to the can. It got in, crashing into the bottom, shattering. "Score!" Reeve laughed and turned around. "What do you have in mind to do today?"
Tifa tugged slowly at his suit collar. "Not much..."
Coneria, Lab 12:34 AM Sept. 21
Dr. Baker continued his research on the Cetra. For almost four years the Cetra remained in a coma. Within this time, he also released a second Cetra, a female. The female was also related to Aeris. Nanaki padded back and forth behind Dr. Baker. "Nanaki, get the mako injection system." Nanaki picked something up in his mouth. It looked like an inoculation system, but was used specifically for mako. Dr. Baker pressed it to the man's arm, and pumped some in. With that, the man's eyes shot open, with his mouth. Bizarre words poured out. Nanaki, however, understood them all. He had been studying the language.
"Where am I? What is this place? I demand to know!"
"We're not completely sure ourselves. We need you to tell us."
"Alin? Is it you?"
"No no. My name is Nanaki. What is yours?"
"Lukahn. Lukahn the sage. Is my daughter Arylon okay?"
"I'm not sure who Arylon is. You have been asleep for almost fourty-thousand years."
"Oh dear... It was Arkon..."
"Arkon... Arkon did it to us."
"Lukahn... This prophecy is foolish. The orbs will never lose the energy that keep our planet flourishing. And even if they failed, what are the chances of these heroes coming?"
"I have spoken with Etigin and we both have the same estimate and have had the same preminition."
"Etigin is an idiot! If anyone should protect the orbs, it should be us."
"It shall not be us! It is not our place in history!"
"It is!" Arkon put the Claymore to Lukahn's neck.
"You can not kill me... It is not your place."
"Maybe it is..." Lukahn ducked the blade and jammed his knife into Arkon's heart.
"I cast thee into the pit of Hell, and may you forever more seek only to change history in vain... And for eternity feel pain that is wrought upon you by others." Arkon's body disappeared, and was cast into Hell.
"So that's why Arkon keeps coming back..."
"Arkon... Arkon took the place of a clone."
"Yes... A clone..." Nanaki explained cloning, and brought Lukahn up to what the modern world was like.
"Oh dear... If Arkon can get the four swords of the legacy, then he can change the course of the future. He would be unstoppable..."
Wutai, Wutai 11:34 PM Sept. 21
Vincent carried his pistol and a torch with him, walking slowly toward the city. He had learned so much of it. The city was used primarily for drugs and weapons now. His home city. All he saw was factories, offices, and high class housing projects. They did not belong in Wutai. The few Wutai citizens left alive were mostly poor and living in slums some where. Vincent's eyes burned in his otherwise lifeless face. Two guards ran out to shoot him. Two bullets found each of their heads. Vincent walked into the city, and stared at a building. "This is MY city. And if MY people can not live in MY city, then none shall have it. And if MY city is not used for life, then MY city shall burn. So be it." Vincent hurled the torch through a window. The building was ablaze in moments. Vincent cast fire and used torches and explosives to burn more. Flames whipped around him. Vincent's red cape swirled. He pulled his crimson mask over his mouth, leaving only his eyes and black hair visible.
People ran about screaming as their bodies caught flame. Adults, children, soldiers, civilians. Vincent felt no remorse. "For your sins, may you burn. May Da Chao forgive you." He looked to the crumbled remains of the great carving of Da Chao, not far off.
Asgar, Shinra Building 9:00 AM Sept. 21
Sephiroth was instated once more as Shinra personal, working for Reeve as a Turk. His silver hair flowed past his shoulders as he stood up. Tseng and Reno entered the room. "Yes?"
"Sephiroth. There was a call for you about an hour ago."
"Why so long?"
"It was routed from Midgar. Not sure why it took so long, but whoever it is is still on the line."
"Alright..." Sephiroth sat back down in the black cushion chair, and picked up the phone. He pushed a flashing light and a voice came through.
"Yes? Who is it?"
"I exist in you... I am you..." Sephiroth stood up and got genuine fear into his eye.
"What do you want!?!"
"Our duel Sephiroth. You do remember, do you not?"
"Ye... Yes. I remember. When?"
The voice sounded closer. "How about...now?" Sephiroth turned around to see a man, who looked just like himself. But he looked past the demon as well. He saw a cliff. He looked back behind him. Another cliff. They were on a large mesa. Sephiroth stumbled backward and almost fell off. He looked down and saw bubbling magma.
"Shit!" He got up and turned around to see the demon with the Masamune. "This is unfair!" The demon pointed at Sephiroth's stomach. The symbol of the angel. "What the hell does that mean?"
"You can only die if I kill you with this blade.. As I can only die if you kill me with this sword..." The Masamune glinted. The blood it had soaked in long before seemed to still drip from the shimmering metal. Sephiroth stared at the demon's face, then the sword. His eyes traced that path many times before he moved. "You want me dead, don't you? Just take it and kill me!" Sephiroth's arms shaked. "Petty fool..." The demon lunged and jammed the sword through Sephiroth's stomach. Sephiroth didn't die though. The demon pulled the blade out, and prepared to kill him as Arkon had killed Cloud. Sephiroth grabbed the blade between his thumb and index finger.
"Don't try to fuck with me..." Sephiroth punched him and took the Masamune. With that, he brought the sword into a series of wild slashes. The demon fell to the ground.
"You know what...Sephiroth... You were right... You were right... I shouldn't have fucked with you... But you'll be dead... It doesn't matter... You are a petty, inscolent, pathetic..." Sephiroth's face began to have tears of anger pour down. "Kill me..." Sephiroth barely moved. "Why don't you do it? KILL ME!" The demon laughed. "You can't, can you... You're weak... You have FAILED!" Sephiroth screamed and brought the sword down, chopping the foul creature's head off. Sephiroth collapsed on his office floor with his sword in his hand, wearing his suit. A bloody hole was through his stomach. Reno and Tseng came in to see what the call had been about, finding Sephiroth dying on the floor.
"Shit! Reno, call a medic. Ya' okay, Sephiroth?"
"There is a hole through my stomach! I feel fine..."
"How ya' really feel?"
"Real bad..." Sephiroth clutched the hole. Tseng saw the sword but didn't question he was seeing lots of wierd things in his career for Reeve. "Damn... Got anything to drink?"
"Alcohol, old man..."
"Oh yeah! RUDE! Sometimes we pity those we hate."
Midgar, Shinra Building 12:30 PM Sept. 21
"Great... Sephiroth almost bled to death..." Reeve held his head in his hands. "I'm just going to go flush my head downt he toilet now..." He got up and left Cait sitting on the table, playing cards with Lord Cait. Tifa was sitting in the game room, watching the television.
"Reeve! Get in here!" Reeve walked into the room.
"Wutai was burned to the ground..." Tifa's eyes were wide as she looked at the screen. A news channel helicopter started swinging around the scene, showing various aspects of the ashes. In the middle of it all, a man was standing motionless. "Vincent..."
Wutai, Wutai 12:45 PM Sept. 21
Vincent stood still in between the ashes. His madness for Shinra was complete. Insanity took his mind. He still held regard for his friends, but for the denizens of Rufus's seedy communities had to be killed. They must. And Vincent set his life for it.
Midgar, Shinra Building 12:47 PM Sept. 21
The television changed stories, to secret footage of Valhalla. "This footage was taken from main opposition. Deep within the military city of Valhalla comes very disturbing news." The picture showed a large factory of robots being produced. Another showed a lab of many people getting brain surgery. Yet another showed a creature like Nanaki being electrocuted for testing on stamina. The last film showed a soldier, right before the camera was crushed, after a shot was heard. "The twisted minds that make these hideous experiments must be stopped. We can only ask the president for help. If he can't save us, there may be no one who can." Reeve opened a small cabinet and removed a chest.
"The last hope for a dying world." Reeve removed several sheets of paper, a gun, a knife, and a red materia orb. Reeve put the gun into a holster and hid it beneath his coat. The knife was placed opposite of the gun. Reeve put his signature onto several sheets of paper.
"Why the gun and knife?"
"If some one who doesn't like my order for atomic war gets pissed...I don't want them to try anything." He picked up his phone and placed the order.
Valhalla, Power Sector Five 3:43 PM Sept. 30
"This is Epona. Almost to the drop point." The pilot swerved his plane, Epona, in to bomb. He flipped up the control deck and pressed a red button. The bomb bay door opened. The bomb remained latched. The second red light flashed. He took a deep breath and slammed his fist onto the button. The bomb dropped and crashed into a large mako reactor. The explosion was amazing as the plane was thrown forward and disintegrated. The explosion was far larger then estimated. It swallowed seventy-five miles of the city, sparing no lives.
Valhalla, Industrial Sector Two 4:12 PM Sept. 30
"This is Titan. Drop initia..." The plane was blasted forward, but not destroyed. Half of the industrial sector was annihilated in a blast far smaller then the first bomb. The mako reactor had enhanced the explosion to points beyond original intentions. This explosion worked perfectly, a mushroom cloud forming behind him. The pilot smiled and dove past the city, but being brash got him killed. A mako cannon attempted a shot and the beam, being much wider then the plane, would have melted the plane to an atom. The reactors were not able to power it. Anti-aircraft guns that ran on a different reactor, however, were quite able to blast the plane down.
Midgar, Shinra Building 6:20 PM Sept. 30
Reeve slumped in his chair. "Maybe that'll slow em' down for a while..." He sighed. "I only hope I didn't do something I'll regret..." Cait patted him on the back.
"It'll be okay... I'm sure. After two hits like that, they won't last long."
"I hope not..." Reeve shook his head. "But we're getting drawn into too deep personally. You and I are heroes. People look up to us. You're an incredible strategist...but I'm wingin' it all."
"No you're not. I learned all I know about fighting from you. I learned strategy from you. I owe you everything that makes me who I am. Hell, if you didn't get bored and lonely, I wouldn't be here." Reeve nodded.
"But you learned. You developed. You are yourself. I have no effect upon that, Cait."
"Reeve... You're my father. I love you like you're my father, and for loving me enough to make me live, I owe you more then I could ever give. All my gambling, everything I could ever steal would never pay that off."
"I do love you Cait. I guess it is because I never had a son I craved for some one to mold into my image. What it is, Cait, is that I DON'T want you to die. I need a friend. I always have. I guess there would be Cid and Kianki, even maybe Nanaki and his brother, but they can't think like me, as I can't think like them. If anyone owes graditude, it would be me. You're alive now Cait. Make choices. Have fun. Feel life. Just don't die. Please."
"I won't die. If I do, I will die in defense of my friends, and what morals I must uphold."
"Do you have morals?"
"Yes... I think. I must have some. I believe in justice and freedom for anyone. I believe everyone has..."
"A right to life and love. To prevail and see far beyond their years, into that of their children's, and the dreams beyond them."
"How did you know?"
"I wrote that speech one year before I activated you."
"See... You are my influence. I have the same morals as you."
"Because I wanted you to. I wanted you to think freely, but still be kind and polite. I know I did some wrong things in the past. Kidnapping Marlene and such. By the way, how is she?"
"Cid said she was doing fine. She is enjoying her new home in Rocket Town."
"Did they ever tell her about Barret?"
"Yes! Yes..." Cait wiped away a forming tear and acted like he had something in his eye. "Never before did I ever see a girl cry like that..." His heart sank just as low as it had the day she saw her cry. He almost began to cry himself, and was about to again. "Scuse' me..." Cait turned around and cried silently. "I'm so sorry..." He wiped his tears away and turned around.
"Cait... What is it like?"
"What do you mean?"
"To be like that."
"A kind of cat human."
"Well... LIKE being human, I guess... I'm not quite sure myself. So difficult to explain. I feel everything like humans, except that I have fur and such. It makes me sad to think about it."
"Because..." Cait turned his head to the left, avoiding Reeve's eyes. "I want to be human...and I know I can't be..." He frowned and covered his face with his hands.
"One day you may be able to."
"No. I can't. Even if we do get the technology, I don't want it. This is what I must learn to feel. What I haven't learned yet. A feeling. I can't name it. It is beyond my comprehension, possibly anyone's. I know I feel depressed, but I must know that I can't have whatever I want in life. I shouldn't. It would be like...like showing off. Showing everyone that I can get what I want, when I want. I want that feeling. I grasp for it, but so often it is out of my reach."
"I know the feeling..."
"What is it called?"
"Cait... Some feelings don't have names... They just exist."
"Are you sure?"
"Love has a name."
"That's its name..." Reeve shook his head and smiled.
"Yes... But is there a line between love and hate, or is it one feeling at different levels? It's like good and evil. Whoever is fighting for what we call evil is fighting for their good, and we fight for our good. Thus, good and evil are one and a whole. Maybe love and hate is the same."
"Maybe Cait... All very confusing though."
"Yeah, a little." Cait hopped down to the floor. "I'm going to catch the next train home. Good bye."
Once again, Cait tried to cover up his last remark. "Love you, Dad." He began to walk to the door.
"I love you too."
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