Nanaki and the Fallen Angel Chapter 4
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
Mideel, Lifestream Pool 2:47 AM Mar. 18
Kianki looked at the pool, mesmerized by its beauty as it shimmered in the moonlight. She stepped first, a single paw into the liquid substance. It felt much like water did, only thicker. It caused memories of her father and her family rush through her head. She had tried to block it out. How they had all died that day. The day the soldiers came. Arrows were shot, swords clattered, her own kind even enveloping themselves in the fight. Those who had escaped fled to the jungle, and disappeared through history. She hadn't. She was captured with a friend of hers. Anthony. Nanaki was captured years later by scientists. Kianki and Anthony were haggled several times until they ended up in the hands of Shinra, who had altered their DNA. Now, they both had fangs that would slide in out of their gums, if they willed it to. But mostly, she remembered her father. Esmiran, a great warrior, like... Who was it? She knew his name well, but the recollection was hard. Seto. Yes, the father of Anthony and Nanaki. Now all three of them had Jenova and Sephiroth's blood coursing through them. She shuddered. She stepped further into the lifestream, until it was at her neck. Then her most horrifying memories ran through her.
Experiments. Needles and scalpels. Blood. And that one lucky shot. She ripped a man's heart out. She remembered it. The last time he would take a needle to her. She remembered actually seeing his heart pulse, while she was holding it, beating and bleeding in her mouth. The veins from his chest strung out, blood dripping onto the table of galvanized steel. He got what he deserved. She had crushed his heart in the highest amount of rage she had ever felt. But they didn't kill her. Not her. She was too special to them. But she had pitied Anthony more than herself. He had been cut up, and tortured, because his body seemed so durable, they had to test it. They would bring him back, bleeding or literally smoking from electronic shocks. Kianki continued into the cool, transparent green liquid, until her head was covered in the liquid. What scared her at first was the fact that she could still breath easy. In fact, it was more refreshing than anything she had ever felt. But she remained totally motionless as she finally began to descend on her own. She had stepped over a deep whole. How far down was it? Does it matter? She came to rest, and opened the eyes she had sealed tightly shut. The pendant began to glow. It was like being under a black light. She began to press herself upward. Her head started to resurface, but not in Mideel, but in a cavern of sorts. She crawled out, and started to shake off, but realized she was dry. "It's..." The lifestream glowed intensely to the point Kianki had to seal her eyes again. After she figured she could see again, she opened her eyes. It was a lone cave. No caverns led out of it, save a small hole in the wall, but that only went back several feet, and was otherwise empty. She felt tired now, despite the great refreshment of the lifestream. She crawled into the hole and rested her head on her front paws. She smiled to herself, somehow knowing it would be okay.
Her head played back the encounter of the dragon and the winged man. Had it not been for her curiosity, she would be lying with Anthony, sound asleep in the canyon, with no worries or cares in the world. Maybe it was solely divine intervention. All time may have frozen for everyone but them. She didn't care. She just wanted to be with him, hear his breathing as he slept, and the odd, and according to herself, somewhat half-assed comments. She didn't care. She like the jokes he made. She missed him already. But no worry of ever not seeing him again passed into her mind. She wouldn't allow it. She knew she was to see him again. She sang to herself a very ancient lullaby type song, which was in her native tongue. It was the most haunting melody, almost erie, but also calming and soothed away fears and worry. Soon she fell asleep, breathing easily and calmly, as she had when she was very, very young. She was still young, but old enough to make decisions of importance. She thought of those she was still to make. They would've scared her, but would have to be done. And what had to be done never frightened her. So self confident.
Unknown, Lifestream Pool 4:04 PM Mar. 18
"How long was I asleep?" Kianki looked around. Still the little cave with the shimmering pool. The pool provided the only light. She had awoken with the impression that the cave was a dream. But Anthony wasn't there. She sniffed the air. It smelled very fresh, and welcoming.
"You're awake." The voice was strangely familiar, but she had never heard it.
"Who are you?" She saw a young woman, an angel most likely. She had fine, silver-lined wings, and several rings on each finger. Ivory rings.
"I'm a good friend of some people you know." In an instant, her wings were gone, replaced by an all too familiar pink gown. "Aeris Gainsborough."
"Hello, Miss Gainsborough..."
"Call me Aeris. Here." She dropped a small white orb in front of Kianki.
"Yes. White Materia. Magic is making its revival. Someone must carry the age forward into the future. I've watched Nanaki, Cloud, and all the rest, but no one else came to the lifestream, otherwise, it would be you, Anthony, or Nanaki. You're the last of those who truly uphold beliefs in existence, and have noble causes. And... You're the only ones who can last that long. You and Anthony must have children, as Nanaki does." Kianki didn't ever know how Aeris had acted, but Aeris never acted so serious. "Here, have some food." A small plate of assorted meats was set onto the table that now sat in front of the hole. Kianki ate them and thanked her, but Aeris was gone. But the voice remained. "White, Black, and the Call... All those are one, and one is all... Keep your faith... Be brave... And my final gift..." A small red orb hovered in the air. "The true Cait Sith. The esper, Cait Sith. Lord Cait Sith. Take it." Kianki had worked both materia into a small clip, which she used to keep her now many feathered headdress to her head. The feathers of a real cockatrice adorned it. It shimmered. Her pride in her family was set to it.
"I will be brave..." She dove back into the lifestream.
Forgotten Capital, Pool of Water 6:07 PM Mar. 18
"And that is her final resting place..." Nanaki strode out of the shallow part of the water, having recounted the adventures of Cloud and his friends to Anthony. They turned to leave when a thunderous sound erupted from the water, Followed by a bluish beam of light. "I'm not sure what that is but it's your fault!" Cid ran into the cave.
"What the fuck is going on!?!"
"I don't know! Anthony! His fault!"
"No it isn't! I didn't do anything!"
"Oh... Shut up! Lets leave..."
"Now sounds like a good time to me... Any complaints, good, lets go."
"Bu... Bu..." Anthony sat, trying to mutter words after the already gone Cid and Nanaki. "Wah... Wait for me!" He dashed after them, onto the ship.
"Whats going on, Captain?" The pilot looked at Cid.
"Shut the fuck up and get us outta here!" The Highwind lifted high into the sky, as the city exploded in brilliant oranges and reds. "Holy..."
"Shit..." Nanaki completed the exasperated words which had spilled from their mouths. Anthony looked over the edge. The explosion had subsided, revealing a giant spider-like creature, almost five times the size of the Highwind, trying to pull itself out of the ground. It lumbered away into the ocean. The pool where Aeris had been laid to rest remained, however, as did all the pools of shimmering water.
"We're in deep shit now..." Cid looked at where the spider had gone. It went underwater, but he could see the blackened shadow it casts into the water.
"How quick can we get there?" Cid pointed to the black spot.
"A few minutes..." The pilot pressed on, until they hovered over the immobile splotch. The creature began to surface.
"Oh shit! Get us out of here!" The creature fired several acidic blasts of saliva at the airship, but Cid was lucky enough to pull away.
Hellbender, Hellbender Deck 6:35 PM Mar. 18
Rufus saw a green figure coming ever closer to the Hellbender. "The Highwind is coming... Fire..." Laser cannons blared at the Highwind. Several dents and scars now set in place on the Highwind.
Highwind, Highwind Deck 6:35 PM Mar. 18
"Shit! Fire everything!"
Sky, Highwind\Hellbender Battle 7:43 Mar. 18
The battle raged, guns and lasers, and missiles as well, fired at the great metal beasts. Cid Highwind thought like a well trained commander. "Aim the brunt of our weapons at the deck! I want that fucker down!" Missiles blazed from the racks and opened wounds on the Hellbender.
"Sir! We're out of missiles!"
"Oh shit... Get us out of here!" Just then, a huge dragon grabbed the roof of the Hellbender, and opened it like a can of tuna.
Rufus looked up at the creature. "Fuck! Kill it! Get us away from here! Do something, God damn it!" The engines kicked, causing the dragon to sputter and fall into the ocean. The Highwind took its leave and headed toward Rocket Town.
Cosmo Canyon Airspace, Highwind Lower Deck 9:45 Mar. 18
Anthony looked down into the canyon. "Think I'll get off..." A high mesa was right below the now slow moving ship. "...here." He hopped off onto the mesa. "Oh, wait..." He looked around. "D'oh..." Nanaki saw him sitting on the mesa, and rushed down after telling Cid to stop. "Hi!"
"What are you doing?"
"I'm hopping down to the canyon. I've no need for Rocket Town." Nanaki sat for a moment. "Coming with?"
"I guess so..." He hopped off. "Go ahead Cid!" The airship pulled away. The two sat on the mesa. "So... How are we getting down?"
"Dough? What do you mean dough? How'll that help?" Nanaki was confused by his brother's choice in words.
"I don't know... We'll have to climb."
"I don't think we're going to be able to do that..." Nanaki looked down the side of the rock.
"Why not? It isn't physically impossi..."
"It is if there is nothing to keep on to from falling..."
"D'oh!!!" Anthony looked around. "Maybe we can fly!"
"Yeah! Those griffins! We can snag one, and fly!"
"Is it just me or do you find progressingly higher ways to be an imbecile?"
"Just you! Now lets get to work."
"We'll need bait..." Anthony trained his eyes on Nanaki. "Anthony?"
"You'll signal them..."
"Now maybe we can... Wait... That means...I am... But... So..."
"Right then." So, Nanaki got a griffon to come close. Anthony jumped onto it. "Piece a' cake. Now get moving!" The griffon was easily subdued. They leapt on and it thus allowed them to float safely to the ground, where it attacked them without pause. "This is your fault!"
"I was going to signal town! You! You son of a... Oh wait..." He leapt at Anthony instead and the two began beating eachother to death.
"Admit it was you!" Nanaki was pressing his paw on Anthony's throat, slowly choking him. Anthony pushed enough to pin Nanaki, who beated Anthony away long enough to turn his attention to the griffon. The griffon clawed Nanaki, making him leap toward it. Anthony caught Nanaki mid-air and bit into his shoulder. "Gyaah!" Nanaki dug his own teeth into Anthony's right fore paw.
"Yeaak!" Anthony batted Nanaki in the face.
"Why you little..." Nanaki pinned Anthony and began choking him again. The gryphon picked Nanaki away and was about to claw him again, when a sword pierced its throat, spilling blood on the two brothers.
"Yay! I'm the best!" Anthony leapt in the air.
"You don't have hands! You didn't do that."
"I can dream."
"Shut up, you two." Cloud walked out from the shade, carrying the now bloody Masamune. "Brotherly love..." He saw how they had been beating eachother to bloody pulps, over a simplistic, idiotic issue. They walked back to the canyon, where Nanaki and Anthony cleaned the blood off. Cloud merely washed his hands, the only part of his body stained with blood. He was wearing a dark green vest and white shirt, with jeans and a pair of old speed shoes. The brothers went to administer the care of potions and curative magic to their wounds, rather then let them heal on their own.
"Hello!" Tifa ran into the room. "I've got good news, and I've got better news."
"And?" Anthony jumped up.
"Well, lots of just good news... The bar has made so much money, I hired a buncha people to run it for me, allowing me to buy a home."
"Where?" Nanaki was genuinly interested.
"In a currently under construction city that incorporates all of its area into the design. A super minimulist city. No reactors, but lots of nice places to live."
"Well, apartments are made of old style mason work, allowing them to be built easily without clearing much or no land at all."
"Than why'd you..."
"Shhh..." She put her finger to Anthony's lips. "I didn't say anything..."
"You got Cloud drunk... Didn't you?"
"Umm... No..." Anthony snickered. "Waht are you laughing at, horn dog?"
"Eh, Reeve started calling you that."
"Why, that pompous... How dare he be...so...so... BWAAAH!!"
"It isn't my fault he found out how often you have sex... Whoops... Shouldn't have let that slip..." Anthony was fuming. He stepped out of the observatory, and went to the bar, as Reeve was usually found there when he was in the town.
"Hey, Anthony!" Anthony jumped up on a stool by Reeve. "Hows it been?"
"Depressing. Kianki's gone."
"Cait! Pay up!" He'd been betting with his own creation on several things.
"He got depressed over lack of sex!" Reeve blacked out as Anthony smacked him in the back of the head. Cait looked at him.
"Cool! So do I win?"
"What was the bet?"
"If you were depressed over lack of sex, he got five-hundred gil, but if not, I get five-hundred gil and a trip to the Gold Saucer."
"Whats depressing you?"
"Kianki's gone. And it's not..." He gritted his teeth. "...lack of sex. I really do miss her."
"Oh. I see... Roit, roit, roit."
"It's my proper wuss accent." Cloud jumped in through the bar door.
"Hello! Hey Cait, Anthony, and uh..." He looked at Reeve, who had finally regained consciouness on the floor. "...Reeve. Shouldn't you get up?"
"Leave me with my dignity. The damn horn dog..." Anthony jumped off of his stool. "I mean, Anthony...hit me..."
Cloud began laughing. "What a... Bwahahaha! What a pussy! You got your ass whooped by... Gwahahahahah!" Reeve tripped Cloud, who then had his face get aquanted with Anthony's fore paw. "Oh... I'm surry..." His face was being slowly crushed. "Vury surry..." Anthony removed his paw. Cloud got up and got a drink. "So... How you been?"
"I'm still new to this whole life thing..." Cait drank a beer. "I didn't think a hangover hurt so much."
"Because of lack of seeeaaay...Cloud? Wanna make a beh..." Reeve found his face on the floor again. "It wasn't about you!"
"Sorry." Anthony jumped back up and ordered wine. "And in ice!"
"Wine in ice? Icy wine? Wuss..." Anthony smacked Cloud, allowing his claws to graze his face enough to cause blood to stream down. "Gwaah! You little son of a bitch!" Anthony really didn't care about the insult. He worried about the blood on his paws. What would Kianki... She was still lost.
Ocean, Coast of Rocket Town 3:23 AM Mar. 19
Kianki dragged herself ashore. "Finally..." A demonic creature set itself before her. "God... I don't know how I pissed you off...but c'mon!!!" She remembered her materia and summoned Lord Cait Sith. A small cat, who looked remarkably like Cait Sith, but had red shoes and a blue cape stopped in front of her. This wasn't like any summon she'd ever seen before.
"Hi there! What did you want?" She was startled that he spoke to her.
"Umm... That thing over there! Kill it!"
"Kill? I wanna play cards!"
"What!?!" He pulled out a deck of ten cards and turned to the creature.
"Pick a card! Any card!" The creature just looked at him. "Oh geez..." Then, Lord Cait selected a card for the demon. "Joker!?! Haha! You lose!" The demon simply faded away. Lord Cait turned to Kianki. "Wanna play? Sure you do!" He pulled a card. "Ace! Card of chance!" He then removed a small wheel, also concealed within his cape. The tiny cat dropped a marble in the wheel. "Bet?" Kianki decided it might help calm her nerves, even though she would be playing with an esper, which seemed impossible.
"Um... Double zeros..."
"The almighty Os!" The marble landed on 00. "You win either total relaxation or a doll of me! Oh, I guess you can have both!" He said a few words and jammed a small doll of himself onto a chain and around Kianki's neck. Kianki felt refreshed.
"Umm... No summons have ever done this before."
"Well...the other espers have been kind of angry with me...and I've decided to help you out after that nice young lady told me to. Call me...lord and master of all anyone surveys!"
"A left-over esper? No."
"Just call me Cait Sith... No... Lord Cait, I AM the lord of cats and jokes."
"Oh joy... Well, come on." Kianki began walking in the general direction of Rocket Town. The little cat watched her walk away.
"Wa.. Wait for me!" He carried his wheel and cards in his hands as he dashed after her.
Rocket Town, Cid's House 7:06 AM Mar. 19
Shera rushed to the door to find Kianki followed by a small cat. Shera had spoken with Kianki before, and found her much of a joy to see. But Kianki was covered in mud, and followed by a little cat with a cape. It wasn't Cait Sith. Reeve's robot wore a red cape, and little gloves, and a crown. As if reading Shera's mind, Lord Cait removed a little crown of his own, only it seemed more regal than the robot's. It had a fine ruby set in the center, and a cushioned top. "Hello ma'am... Your local lord and master coming to see ya'!"
"Where is he?"
"Shera, hes a left-over esper."
"Oh... He reminds me off Reeve's robot."
"Does Reeve play cards?" Lord Cait removed the deck.
"See... He isn't playing with a full deck... Thats why hes a wash up..."
Lord Cait slumped down a little and frowned. "You're mean..."
"I'm only joking...Lord of Jokes...heh..."
"I am the Lord of Jokes! And of magic!"
"What kind of magic?"
"Sure you are... We're gonna find the rest of your deck of cards... Well, Shera... Could we get a little help?"
"Absolutely... Tea just finished, c'mon in."
"Don't worry... I have to clean up the house soon anyway." It was settled. Kianki walked in, leaving a neat trail of paw prints, followed by the cat, who left wide shoe mud prints from the ruby red shoes he wore.
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