The Color of Blood Chapter 8
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
Midgar, Sector 4 11:34 PM Nov. 12
Cid was freezing, tightening his jacket. He looked up, seeing the sky. It was different, now that Reeve had removed the plates from Sector 4, 6, and 8. Snow was falling lightly onto the ground. Taking a drag on his cigarette, Cid walked toward a bar. He sat down and threw the butt to the floor. He stepped on it, and turned to the bartender. "Hey. Can I get a beer?"
"Idn't much else to get here. Dunno why, but most alcohol, ya know, liqour and whiskey, gin, that's all gone to the service. I guess it helps to be drunk when you're fighting a bunch of piss ants."
"Can't drink on duty..."
"Can't see straight when ya'r drunk." The bartender wiped out a mug and poured beer into it, sliding it to Cid.
"Thirteen gil." Cid grabbed a bag that contained his money and put a twenty gil note onto the table. "Seven gil..." Cid was gone before the man could give him his change. The bartender just shrugged and turned back to the television while cleaning a mug.
Cid was outside, once again freezing. He checked his pack of cigarettes. The pack was empty. "Damn..." He pulled out a crimson materia Reno had shown him, and forgotten about. Cid stepped to the hot rod he had finally finished. Most of his friends told him how he shouldn't drive it, just let it stay clean and good, until he could sell it. Cid had a motto when it came to vehicles though. "If you don't show it off, who gives a damn?" He got out the Venus Gospel. It looked far different now. A claw at the end opened and closed, like a prize catcher, but far sharper. Along the side there was a button to press to make it run. Most of the pole was the same, and the old parts he used to make the new Venus Gospel, almost all was part of the old Venus Gospel. Even the claw at the end was the blades of the old spear. He pressed the button and heard it open and close rapidly, making a strange, grating, metallic sound. Still holding the materia, he put it to the sky and caught the last glimmer of star light through the thickening snow. All at once, it was gone. The light. The materia. He saw a young man running away with the materia. "Hey! Come back ere' ya' SOB!" Cid ran down the street through the blinding snow as the man ran into an alley.
"Having trouble, old man?" The voice was all around him. Cid cursed under his breath and ran down the alley at the outline of the figure. It was a teenager. Cid swung at him and missed. The boy climbed up the wall. It wouldn't be so odd, except that he wasn't holding anything. He was putting his hands to the wall, and stuck to it. Eventually, the boy got to the top. "Whatcha' gonna do now, old man?" Cid smiled and bent his knees. He shot through the air and landed on the roof in front of the boy, grabbing his throat.
"Okay, you little punk... That belongs to me."
"If you can get it back first." Cid took a punch to the stomach and lurched forward.
"Gyah! You little shit!" The boy's face seemed to change. Cid shook his head. The boy looked the same.
"What is it, Cid?"
"What the... How the fuck did you know my name!?!"
"Because, Cid. Don't you remember me?" The boy grabbed Cid's face and pulled it close to his. Cid saw Arkon's face.
"Oh my God..."
"Soon... Very soon... Flattering, however." Arkon punched Cid in the face. "Get up, Cid." Cid stood, facing Arkon. Arkon's disguise vanished.
"What do you want?"
"Life. Eternity. All of the universe. The real question, Cid, is what do you want?"
"Your head on a pike."
"You want your friends back, don't you?"
"What's it to ya?" Cid turned away coldly, ready to kill him.
"Like Cloud. Yes, Cloud wanted his friends back, and he has them now. The same wish. Why don't you want it?" Arkon smiled and his own spear appeared.
"I can kill you..."
"Maybe you can, Cid. But are you really willing to end your chance to get your friends back? Cid, I can make them live. You want..."
"I want you dead!" Cid brought his spear down to crush Arkon's skull. Arkon brought his spear up and blocked Cid.
"You wish for death? Then you shall have it!" Arkon thrust his spear forward, but Cid threw it aside. Cid slashed Arkon across his side. "You can not win! I will claim your soul!"
"Not if I put your's in Hell first!" Cid spun his spear and thrust it forward, but was parried by Arkon.
"You first..." Arkon jammed his spear through Cid. Cid was still alive though.
"Ya' know what?" Arkon looked at Cid's face. He was alive. Arkon's mouth dropped as he looked at the spear in Cid's chest.
"No... No... It isn't possible... Oh damn..."
"I'll tell ya' what. You are really getting me PISSED OFF!" Cid's spear cut off Arkon's hand. Arkon screwed his hand back on, and looked for Cid.
"Highwind!?! You can't win! Show yourself!" Cid's spear gored through his chest, holding Arkon's heart, and parts of other organs.
"What do you want?" Cid put his arm around Arkon's throat and began to squeeze. "You killed Cloud... You killed Yuffie... And now, I kill you. It's my turn now." Cid broke Arkon's neck, and crushed his heart. Arkon stood back up, however.
"Cid... I can't die..." Cid ripped Arkon's spear from his hands.
"Yes you can. You're just not trying hard enough!" Cid jammed Arkon's spear through his head. "I'm not in a good mood today..." Arkon's body fell limp to the ground. Cid picked the materia back out of his pocket. He had stolen it back during the fight, right when he got stabbed through the chest. The materia allowed Cid only to die in the loss of his head. Sadly, the materia would disintegrate after several times. The hole in Cid's chest melted away, as if it had never been. He held the coat together, the two holes in it remaining.
Midgar, Shinra Building 9:23 AM Nov. 23
Angus walked into Reeve's office and dropped his report. He saw Reeve and Tifa on Reeve's desk making out. They froze, Reeve's eyes floating up slowly to Angus. "Eh... Uh... That your report?"
"Um... Yeah... I mean, yes sir."
"Just leave it there... I'll get that later..." Angus walked out of Reeve's office slowly, and tripped into the elevator. He looked behind him, seeing Cait in the elevator.
"Umm... Hey Angus!"
"Why you little..." Angus began strangling Cait.
"Huh... Hey! Le... Lemme go!" Cait began swinging futiley at Angus. "Ya' old fart! Fat old man! Over grown excuse for a sea cow! Fat az!" Angus threw Cait against the wall. Cait rubbed the back of his neck and got up. "Not in a good mood today?"
"Palmer stole my coffee, Cid burned my first report so I had to rewrite it, and I just saw the president about to bang his wife..." Cait's eyes grew wide.
"Um... Whoa." Cait never thought about sex. It never crossed his mind, as it seemingly had nothing to do with him. Cait knew full well what it was though, as many visits to one of his now best friends, Anthony, unearthed more knowledge then Cait really wished to know. That reminded him. "Dang! I gotta catch that 10 AM airship to Gongaga! Then I got to get to that damn charter thing!" The elevator dinged down at the lobby. Angus stepped out and walked to the secretary. Cait, however, dashed out wildly, catching the train and going to Sector 6, which had no plate to allow for air traffic. Cait barely caught his flight. Them he ran to the charter stop. Heaving for air, he collapsed on the floor of the hovering bus-like vehicle. Within two hours, he was dropped off outside of Cosmo Canyon, when he realized he forgot his moogle. "BAAAAH!" He trudged into Cosmo Canyon. "Hiya... I'm lookin' for Anthony." The gaurd looked at him.
"Hey Cait! Yeah. He's over by the Cosmo Candle with Ranika and Ras."
"Thanks man." Cait stood up erect and walked to the bonfire. "Hey Anthony!"
"Hey Ranika, Ras."
"Hi, Mr. Sith!" Ranika and Ras loved Cait, who loved them as well.
"So, Tony, ready to go sky diving tommorow?" Anthony was now casually called Tony by his friends.
"Ready as I eva' be." Anthony cut his words short, sounding like an inner city punk.
"Good. Where is Kianki?"
"Getting her beauty rest." Anthony ran up to his room and came down as a human, a form he used for many occasions, wearing a pair of cut off jeans, a festive looking button shirt that he wore unbuttoned, and no shoes. "You got your chute?"
"Yeah man, packed and all." Cait pointed to the bag on his back.
"Kinda big for a parachute."
"Well, it has the chute in it, but a lot of the rest is just stuff. Got the passes to the plane?"
"Yeah. Ready?" Ras and Ranika had gone up to bed, as it was growing late.
Gold Saucer, Sky Diving Airstrip 3:34 AM Nov. 24
"Where are we getting off?"
"The jungle." Cait stared out the door, holding onto a rail tightly. "We're getting a little close..." He saw the jungle through the thick black clouds that were forming. "Gonna be kinda rough and unsafe. Still wanna jump?"
"Ya' damn right." Anthony ran to the door and leapt through in a swan dive like jumping maneuver, when Cait grabbed his ankle. The two shot down toward the jungle. "Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahaaaaaaaa!" Anthony pulled his cord, sending his body jerking upward. Cait held on for dear life.
"Would you like some chocoleetes?" Cait pulled some chocolates from a pouch and held them toward Anthony.
"Sure..." Anthony slowly pulled both cords down until he could grab the "chocoleetes" and eat them. He grabbed the cords and began to shake Cait loose. "You gotta chute for a reason."
"Yeah! If I fall offa' you!" Cait scrambled up Anthony's leg and side and sat on his shoulder. Anthony shook his head as they landed into a tree. Cait unbuckled Anthony's pack and they both fell to the ground. "Besides... I don't have a chute. It's a frickin' survival pack."
"You don't trust me, do you?"
"Of course not. Yur a' moron." The two began the long walk back to the canyon.
Niblehiem, Shinra Mansion 5:32 PM Nov. 23
Tseng continued to dig for his history, why he was ressurected. Tseng's discoveries led him to the Shinra Mansion. Tseng wandered the library, finding old test notes upon himself. The notes were some what fresh, though. Tseng pondered how anyone could possibly use the facilities available to them. Tseng shook his head and threw a book behind him. All he knew was that he was dead, and he now he was alive. He was not animated, not a puppet, but an actual life. Otherwise, he would have decomposed to dust long ago. Tseng sat down at the desk and tilted back in the chair. His foot hit something beneath the desk, which slid in, making him fall backward. He got up and rubbed his head. "Ah... What the..." He turned around and saw an empty shelf of books. Empty except for a small piece of paper. Tseng picked it up.
"To who this may concern, all experiments to this point have fallen insignificant. With one charge, we create life from death. No drug or magic can prove so powerful. This project is 'The Fallen Angel' project, named so for we reincarnate a being without a soul, and thus, Shinra's brainless soldier to command. We have had one mistake. A Turk has escaped this soulless state. He is perfectly alive, but must be eliminated. Should he dig too deep, the threat he may pose to the project would be incredible. The project involves the transfer of blood from subject Red XIII into the subject. To our disappointment, many subjects become the same species 'Felinicus Lupus, the feline\canine species that subject Red XIII is. This species is commonly known to Shinra science personal as Celtarion, a species with similar chemical DNA and RNA strands to that of a Cetra."
Tseng dropped the paper. He would either live on like this, or he would become a completely different species. He had a wife, and wanted at least a child. He knew Elena really wouldn't want to be married to another species. He almost vommited he was so nervous. "It isn't possible... It ain't real.. God, say it isn't real..." On occasional nights, when he was angry, he would roar for short periods in his yells. Not a human roar, but something from an animal. He shook his head. "No..." He began to pound his fists on the ground screaming. "Damn you all! Damn you all to Hell! One day, I'll find you all, and kill you, all of you. Every last one of you! I'll send you all to meet your ends..."
Tseng stood and pulled out his gun. He fired random shots into books, and threw down everything marked flamable into a large pool on the floor in front of him. He lit a cigarette and flicked the match into the liquids and began walking away. Slowly, the mansion began to burn. Tseng stood outside of the mansion, and walked away with a non-chalant look upon his face. Despite the huge explosion of chemicals from within, he didn't flinch. Even when burning wood hit the ground past him, he walked without caring. He mounted a chocobo and rode off. "Today I say good bye to my personal Hell..."
Unknown, Zatumis Unknown/Eternity
So began the third esper war. The War of Set began in an out break of the esper world. Chaos hovered over the capital, Zatimus, which meant "Peace". He looked down coldly at the city that he once controlled. He saw the souls of many long dead Cetra. This city was the capital of the Promised Land, a small part of the esper world. Chaos's eyes glowed red as he shrieked and blazed fire down upon the masses. The souls were burned to nothing. To die a second time for a Cetra meant the sentence of Hell, until the murderer dies. Chaos removed his blade, Grathicus and landed in the city scare, a raging behemoth of death. From the sky came Tiamat, also raining death upon the citizens.
"Chaos..." Ramuh was walking the streets of the city. "Chaos... I banished you from this world! By returning you bring your own death!" Ramuh raised his arm and lightning sprouted from his finger tip and charged into Chaos.
"Ramuh!" Chaos raised his arms and spread his wings in furious rage. "For this I condemn thee to death!" Chaos walked in the lightning, shrieking in pain, but not relenting. He raised his blade to kill Ramuh. Ramuh removed his mace, a glowing weapon known as Linusin. The mace blocked the Grathicus.
"You shall not prevail against the armies of light!"
"We shall see, Ramuh..." Chaos brought his sword into Ramuh's arm. Ramuh fell back. Even as an esper, his age hindered his fighting.
A young wizard, Ramuh set across the world to entertain and educate. In his life, he had been a wizard, a knight, and a king. He was petitioned by Ra to become an esper.
Ramuh knew he had to do something. He blazed lightning all around him, and threw his mace high into the air, where it slammed into Tiamat, wounding him to the point where he had to leave. Chaos jammed his sword into Ramuh's stomach. Ramuh vanished. All over the Planet, any Ramuh materia vanished into red dust. Chaos laid waste to the city, not finding the object he needed to create yet again, a powerful blade of light, which he could use to banish the armies of the Promised Land, and which he could twist to his demented views of light, and enslave the universe.
Coneria, Castle 12:34 PM Nov. 25
Lukahn opened his ancient tome and ran his finger down a list. Lukahn had learned modern speech, and was helping Nanaki found out about the past of his species. "You see... Illumina was created to slay Chaos if he would ever return, but no one expected him to come back. You can imagine the surprise on King Golen's face when I told him my prophecy. The Masamune was in Tiamat's fortress, forged by a dwarf. Excalibur was forged by a dwarf. Marusame was made by an elve. The Claymore was forged by Tasnik. And Illumina was formed by Ultima. When Illumina was destroyed, it became a material called magicite, but now, that magicite which was Ultima is now in this castle, deep below the ground in my secret library."
"But if your civilization was destroyed by Arkon's curse before the magicite was formed, what happened to put the magicite in your library?"
"Nanaki... I honestly don't know. I have had no preminition before hand of how it happened."
"Damn... We'll have to find out some time. What are you looking for anyway?"
"The 'Prothascian Bane'. It is a set of eight anklets used to protect the wearer from Chaos's magics. The first four light warriors had them since childhood. That is the only reason why Chaos did not slaughter them. Chaos's magic still hurt them, and near killed them all, but it could not. All four survived, and destroyed Chaos two-thousand years earlier then they were supposed to. You and your brother will find them useful. As for Kianki, I have found a special orb called 'Aegis', a piece of magi, which are parts of the statue of Isis."
"Yes... She saved many lives during the Magi War, but was cursed and pulled apart as pieces of magi, orbs much like materia. When all the orbs are gathered close together, they will come into one as Isis. Sadly, some magi may have been destroyed to prevent her revival. She was revived once, and rested at the core of Cardia, but was destroyed."
"Yes. Our planet. Cardia. Has that much information been lost?"
"Yes. I guess no one decided to even name this world after its name faded away. Cardia..."
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