Nanaki and the Fallen Angel Chapter 7
Trail to the Source of Magic
By Brady Bryner, Bill Shofstall, & Anthony McKinley
New Continent, Unknown 3:21 AM Apr. 7
"What happened to them!?!"
Cait walked around the perimeter of the camp, until he found a man wearing clothing. "Hey there!" Cait walked up to the man. "Hey! You okay?" Cait pushed the man; he collapsed onto him. "Oh God!" Cait squeezed out. He looked for a wound, finding nothing. "Then how'd..." Cait had pressed his hand to the man's head, forcing a small amount of blood out his ear, pressing into his hand. "Sorry, no disrespect." Cait used his feet to force the man's face to show up from the mud, revealing a maggot ridden face that had caved in.
"I didn't need to know that..."
"You haven't heard about the sentry!"
Cait ran away, screaming, totally terrified by the sight. He ran into a leg and looked up. The sentry! And his face hadn't fallen in! Cait pushed him and yelled for attention. "You gotta help me!" The face looked down at him, but said nothing. Cait noticed a bulge in the man's stomach, dripping a liquid he couldn't identify in the dark. Cait climbed up and saw a snapped tree limb sticking through his stomach. Cait fell down in horror. "Oh shit!" He ran back into the camp.
"...and that's how I got back here." Cait let out a deep breath and shook his head while wiping away a little tear. "I'm scared as can be, man... What could killed a man like that?"
"Tree limb, easy, face cave-in, that could be harder, I sure as hell don't know how it happened, but we have to secure the camp, nothing can endanger this mission."
"One of two... Ours is to find if this continent can be populated, and the other, which is if the first prevails, to protect the source of magic. We can't let some...no...anyone get to it."
"That's pretty noble..." Cait looked at the ground.
"It isn't noble, Cait. You'll last long enough to realize the difference between noblity and God given duties to your people and world." Cait smiled.
"Okay... Can I be a general?"
"Only..." Reeve acted like he was talking to a child. "Only if you prove yourself responsible and worthy of command."
"I can do that... Well, better get ready for whatever that thing was..."
New Continent, Unknown 7:21 AM Apr. 7
Several families and constructors stayed behind with two battalions to make a town. They broke ground that day, and Rame was founded, after Rameus, one of Nanaki's ilk to have come on the Mustirio. Reeve continued forward through the deep forest on chocobos who were clad in, to one of the travelers dismay, steel armor. Anthony walked beside Kianki and stole away a few minutes when they took breaks. They hadn't seen what had killed the sentry and guards, but weren't taking chances and had the stronger chocobos carry soldiers with artillery. "It's so humid out, my nose is flooded!" Nanaki wasn't one to complain. "It's hot as Hell..." He didn't know how he would end up eating his own words.
"I know..." Anthony and Kianki were also suffering, as well as the others, but humans had their problems, too. Reeve was sweating profusely, and couldn't pass it out as easily as panting, but he also didn't have to sweat entirely out his nose.
"Okay folks!" Everyone turned to Reeve, all three-hundred and fifty-two. Reeve was using a megaphone, hooked with a microphone, hooked to a battery pack on his belt. "We're gonna try to find a clear area to rest. Night is comin' in now, we'd better hurry." They sped the pace to near grueling conditions, but no one complained now. They didn't know why, but they couldn't do it. Among the group, were stow aways, Joe and Tim. Matt and Scott had disappeared. "I've recieved final conformation, ya'll. Ya' wanted to pull out, to late now. Mustirio has pulled out to sea, be back in a week with supplies, soldiers, and colonists." Everyone was quiet as they dragged on. What started out as half hour breaks were now five minutes long, and only used to drink and eat, if you had the food on hand. The supply carriages were harder to carry in the deep forest, and it was getting dark early. A storm set in, cooling them at first, welcome to the flesh and fur. Then, lightining set in and terrified them with amazing bolts that lit the sky up like the day. They pressed on none the less, and found a clearing. "Set up the emergency shelters and get the food!"
They set up the shelters in driving rain, pressing deep down on them all, even those who fortunately had fur, but still stang. The lion\dog creatures didn't have it so bad, fur did shield a little bit, but it still felt horrible to them. Finally, they could retreat to emergency shelters. The shelters were connected by several tubes, with ventilation. A small kitchen was set in one area, and quarters in another. The buildings were mainly thick cloth, tin and aluminum. The roofs, sadly enough, were tin and aluminum, creating an annoying "ping pang" sound. But, many still could get deep into sleep, as they were very, very tired from the walking. Reeve couldn't, given the job of sattelite link up to report back to Midgar. "Hey..." He began to nod off.
"Mr. President! Wake up!"
"Uh! I'm up...tired, but up."
"All we need is status."
"I've lost two soldiers, otherwise, we're fine. We've traveled near twenty or so miles."
"Twenty? That it? Those are some of our best chocobos? Was it the fuckin'..."
"No!" Reeve, though commonly made fun of Anthony and Kianki, harbored respect for them anyway. "No. It's the terrain. Deep jungle and extremely powerful storms. Been near five hours now, none stop rain..."
"Well, I guess thats all I need. Report in later, sir. Good night."
"Nigh'." Reeve made to the quarters and fell asleep. The quarters were all compacted into five giant cloth and tin buildings, and were stacked three up a wall on cots, and three up the opposing. In the center sat three hanging from the ceiling. They were given blankets, whiched they used, now freezing to death from the cold the storm and wind wrought upon on them. There were also mats if anyone wanted to leviate a cot for anyone else, basically, those who wanted to take the gaurd or sentry's assigned bunks. In between each row of cots was a row of mats.
Deep Marsh, Quarters A 1:05 AM Apr. 8
Kianki lay with her head buried in Anthony's neck. The cots were fairly large and comfortable. "I guess this seems wierd..." Anthony looked around. He wasn't as tired as most anyone else. Reeve had said they'd wait there until the storm passed.
"I know how you feel... I guess I'm scared. We've got something big to take care of."
"I'm scared, too. How'd you know about this continent?"
"Aeris told me in a dream. Such a kind women." Anthony knew what she meant. Kianki nestled her head further into Anthony's neck. "I'm so tired..." She fell asleep within moments. Anthony smiled and joined her in a peaceful slumber, with the now comforting pattering lulling them ever further into sleep.
Deep Marsh, Quarters B 1:23 AM Apr. 8
Tifa sat staring at the ceiling. Top bunk. Oh joy. The pattering would be more comforting if she had some one to nestle with. But she was alone, hearing the snores of the others. "Hey!" A loud whisper from below. She twisted over and looked down. She saw a women she thought she knew. "You can't sleep either, can you? I hate this job. Military is bullshit."
"Wouldn't know, never fancied joining the military."
"Good. I joined with my husband, and he went off on some damn fool mission, and I never heard from him again. Never even a notice if he was MIA or KIA." Tifa smiled at the women. A tough women, like herself. She'd always hated that sorry house wife stuff, but some how yearned for it.
Deep Marsh, Quarters D 1:24 AM Apr. 8
Cid. Cid Highwind. Smoking a cigar in military bunks. "God, turn off the faucet so I can get some shut eye."
"Put out the cigar, dumb ass!"
"Shut up, brain, or I'll poke you with a Q-tip."
"Caution taken, but I'm not your brain, if there is one." Lord Cait jumped up onto the cot. "Hey there."
"I'm not the Cait you know. I'm Lord Cait Sith, esper."
"Oh great... Another annoying fuck... Listen, if you annoy me, I'm gonna rip your tongue out, use it for a mop, and shove your eyeballs up your ass so you can watch me kick the everliving shit outta you. Capisce?"
"Gotcha." Cait jumped down, after replacing Cid's cigar with a fake explosive one. The end exploded, shooting ash onto Cid's blanket.
"I'm gonna kill em'." Cid grumbled and went to sleep.
Deep Marsh, Quarters A 8:02 AM Apr. 8
Anthony awoke, knowing it was late. He heard rain. "Thank you, God, you're ever so kind to me. Mmmm..." He nudged Kianki. Nothing. He whispered her name. "Kianki... Wake up..."
"Oh... Do I have to?" She opened her eyes and looked into Anthony's. "What do you want?" She smiled.
"I forget..." He smiled. "...but while you're asking..."
"Damn... I really wanted some one else to order my omlette."
"We don't have omlettes."
"What!?!" He acted surprised. "Damn... Well, dun have to walk no more."
"Shut up! You're just being stupid. Why do you act stupid?"
"Hey! Who said I was acting?"
"I did. I mean, how could anyone get so stupid?"
"With years of training and hardwork." Anthony grinned.
"I'm gonna smack that grin off of your face." Anthony grinned wider.
"How bout' this one?" Kianki slapped him with her paw, causing his grin to fall into a frown.
"OW! That hurt god dam..."
"Yes, ma'am..." Anthony looked back into Kianki's eyes. "So..."
"Do you understand no?"
"No means, uh uh, nope, no hope, no chance, no way."
"Okay. I'll go back to sleep now." He laid back down onto the thick cloth pad which served as each cot's pillow. Kianki rested her head on his neck.
Deep Marsh, Quarters D 8:21 AM Apr. 8
Cid kicked Lord Cait Sith through the door to the quarters. "You little..."
"Now, now, Cid, I just won fair and square!"
"You had five aces!"
"There are only supposed to be four!"
"That still beat your three of kind."
"But four of your aces were spades! You only have one of each suit!"
"Wrong answer..." Cid picked up the cat and began choking him.
"Hu... He... Hey!"
"Shut up and die!"
"Shut it, you cheating little fuck!"
"Yu... You win!"
"That's better. Now gimme my gil."
"Oh..." Cid dropped the cat, who gave Cid back his pouch of coins.
"I really hate cats." Cid left.
"I really hate cats." Lord Cait mimicked Cid's voice. "I really hate Cids..."
Midgar, Shinra Building 4:52 PM Apr. 8
Palmer waddled to the coffee machine. "Coffee, I got coffee, doo doo doo..." He sang an idiotic song as he mixed lard with his coffee. A hand grabbed the tuft of hair on top of his head.
"Okay, fat boy... Tell me what you know about the sub-basements!"
"Waaaaaaaaaaah! I dunno anything!" Palmer whirled around and met Tseng's face, looking sternly at him. "Oh. Hi, Tseng!"
"Start squeling pig boy, or I'm havin' bacon tonight..." Tseng pressed a knife to Palmer's fat throat area.
"Waaaaah! Okay! I'll talk! Shinra wanted to make immortal soldiers, so they would have no need for more soldiers."
"And of me?"
"Sephiroth killed you!" Palmer was in tears. "Rude and Elena took you back to the building the same day of your death. You were still intact, and hadn't reached a state where your brain had died, so they revived you and made it a cover up!"
"There is more to it then that!"
"I dunno anymore! Le... Lemme go!" Tseng threw Palmer back against the coffee machine.
"One last question Palmer... What was that thing down there?"
"A failed soldier replacement..." Palmer was sweating, but began dranking his coffee. "That is all..." Tseng knocked Palmer's coffee onto his stomach, until it rolled down, burning him all the while, and dripped down from his groin. "GWAAAAAAAAAAH!!!" Palmer ran away, looking for something to cool him down. Tseng couldn't help but wonder how Palmer knew so much. It didn't matter. He was angered beyond that of any human feeling.
Niblehiem Area, Ruins 7:43 PM Apr. 8
Cloud walked slowly through the ruins. Burned to the ground again. "Life's a bitch..."
"Remembering only hurts, boy..." Cloud turned around to nothing.
"Kaaay..." Cloud began looking around the ruins.
"Memories are the devil. They'll eat you alive."
"What the fuck!?!"
"Just like a gator, or somethin' simlar'."
"Where the..." Cloud felt a heavy blow to the back of his head. "GWAAAH!"
"Fucked..." Cloud opened his eyes. The trench coat man. Cloud jumped back up and back. Cloud pulled the Masamune from its sheath on his back. "You're a swordsmen, aye?" The man pulled his own sword, a double-edged sword about six feet long, with a triangular hole running almost full length on the center of the blade.
"YAH!" Cloud swung the Masamune up into the stomach of the man, but was easily parried by the man's quick movements.
"Failure..." The man brought the sword over his head and swung down toward Cloud who put the Masamune over his head, reflecting the sword into the man's face. "Gya!" Blood trickled down his face. Cloud stood up; the man's eyes glowing red. "Murato..."
"What?" The man leapt forward and jammed his sword into Cloud's stomach. He lifted him up.
"You shall pay..."
"GYAAAAAAAA!" Cloud screamed in anguish.
"But...not now... I'll return, if you live." He pulled the sword out, dropping Cloud on the ground. Amazing it hadn't chopped him in half with the other edge. Cloud coughed up blood, and in an amazing amount of martial discipline, stood up and lifted the Masamune high over his head.
"Fu..." Cloud coughed up more blood. "FUCK YOU!!!" Cloud limply let the blade drop. The man looked at Cloud as it fell, not flinching. He was smiling at him. "Damn you..." The man fell in half, blood spraying everywhere, intestines dangling, organs simply falling into a heap as he ripped apart, blood splashes on the ground, and Cloud. Cloud was bathed in blood, like his now dead enemy. "Da... Da... Damn right... Who da' man?" Cloud fell backward, casting Phoenix. "Damn I'm glad I kept that materia." His wound hadn't completly healed, but to the point where he could walk, and his organs and spine were intact. Some potions, maybe a few stiches, just another scar, nothing more.
Niblehiem, Shinra Mansion 7:46 PM Apr. 8
"What was that!?!" Matt ducked down.
"I dunno!" Scott jumped back, falling against a brick wall. A doorway opened, casting a green light. "Hey! Check this out!" Matt ran over.
"Where does it go?"
"How the Hell should I know, ya' dumb shit. C'mon, les go." The two went down until they came to a wide cave-like hallway. "Whats that?" Scott pointed deep into the darkness, to the outline of a door. The two walked until they reached it. "Open the door."
"Cause you have grenades and a shotgun."
"I have a gun about the size of a cigarette lighter."
"You have a..." Scott removed a rifle and pointed it at Matt.
"Open sesame." Matt opened the door, revealing a lab. "Kick ass! Hey Scott!"
"When I die..."
"I don't know the end."
"Everyone else does but you."
"What the heck are dey'?" Matt pointed to two large, glass cylinders.
"Dunno." Scott fired a shot at one, smashing the glass. "Glass is cool."
"You dumb ass!" Unbeknowst to them, a similar black sludge was sliming out, something that collected over time by feeding on dead cells of its former inhabitants. "What the heck ya' trying ta' do? Get us caught?"
"Ain't no one down ere' but us." The slime had taken hold of Scott's leg and oozed up his pants leg. "What the Hell is this shit?"
"What the fuck!?!" Matt ran for the door. The slime began taking over his body. "I'm getting out of here!"
"No! Don't leave me here!" Matt ran out and left Scott pounding on the door. Scott's eyes turned completly white. No pigment at all. "It" had taken him over. The remnants of Jenova. "The Bitch", "Demon", "Terror of the Skies". The first relying on Tifa, latter on hundreds others. Scott stood up, long after Matt had left, and smashed the door. "MWAHAHAHAH!" He strode out into the world.
Deep Marsh, Clearing 5:03 AM Apr. 9
Reeve moved them out early. The buildings were down, and the rain was a light drizzle. But it didn't matter. It was cooling, but kept constant rivers popping out of the ground. The ground was flooded, and the chocobos handled it well enough. They would have to move fast through the jungle. They had seen several creatures, and at night, red and yellow eyes peered out of the bushes at the people. Reeve just knew to keep moving. Stopping in an unprotected area could mean death, or worse.
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