Bizarre Occurances Chapter 22
Sins of the Past
By Dino Pollard
Knolan has rarely been horrified.
Not when he first used his powers to summon the Knights of the Round. Not when he saw the destruction and death his creation caused. Not even when he was being hunted like an animal by the Shin-Ra.
This, is not one of those times. Knolans eyes are wide with horror at seeing his greatest creation, the war golem he christianed Calibretto, aiming his cannons at the creator.
Bretto? Knolan asked. Cmon big guy, lower the gun.... Bretto?
Calibretto didnt lower the cannon like Knolan asked. His targeting system got a lock down on the old mage. The programming couldnt be fought. It was too strong. He was programmed to obidiently follow the orders of his commander. Whether he liked it or not. At least Knolan let him make his own choices. Rufus wouldnt have any of that, however.
The guns were ready to fire. Before they did, Calibretto only said one thing:
Forgive me, Knolan....
GET DOWN!!!! Cid shouted, jumping at Knolan and knocking him out of the path of Calibrettos bullets.
Good work, Cid! Cloud said. He drew the sword and glared at SOLDIER. Now....where were we?
I believe it was right about here, Sephiroth said, his sword pointed at Garrison.
All right, boys, Garrison said, his sword beginning to crackle with energy. Lets rumble!!
Yuffie looked at the SOLDIER Officer Garrison called Charlotte.
So.... Yuffie began. Nice day, isnt it?
Charlotte didnt even reply, just leapt into battle, bringing her sword down upon Yuffie.
HEY!! Yuffie exclaimed, blocking with her shuriken. Youll poke somebodys eye out with that thing!!
Thats the point!! Charlotte replied, thrusting.
WHOA!!! Yuffie shouted, parrying the blow. All right, thats IT!!!
What are you gonna do? Charlotte asked. Throw your doll at me?
Yuffie uttered a growl.
YOURE DEAD!!!! she yelled. TIDAL WAVE!!!
One of the red orbs on Yuffies armlet flared to life as energy encircled her. Then, she vanished, only to be replaced with the Summon Monster known as Leviathan!!
MBARRIER!!! Charlottoe cried out, as a magical barrier surrounded her. There was no point in running from a Summon spell.
Leviathan let out a roar as a wave of water appeared behind him, engulfing Charlotte. With that, it vanished and Yuffie reappeared.
Charlotte lurched forward and swung her sword at Yuffie, but collapsed halfway through the attack.
THIS is the best Shin-Ra has to offer?!? Yuffie asked with a grin. No wonder we can kick their asses so easily.
Go for blood, Akira, Garrison ordered the dark-haired SOLDIER next to him.
He was a lot younger than Garrison, and not as physically built. But what Akira Hyroshima lacked in strength, he made up for in agility and martial arts.
Ill take Jack Nimble, Cloud said.
That means Garrison is mine, Sephiroth said, grinning. Remember Strife, show no mercy.
That was my intention all along, Cloud replied, charging at Akira.
Let the kids have their fun, Garrison said, turning to his old rival. Now its time for the big boys to play.
Why are you doing this, Garrison? Sephiroth asked. Whatever happened to your promise? Didnt you say that you were going to quit SOLDIER. Didnt you leave soon after the war ended?
....Yes, Garrison replied. But thats none of your business!!
Tell me, what was the reason that you left? Sephiroth asked. Yes, thats right. It was over your fiancee. Vionna, correct? What happened? She couldnt keep you away from the sword?
She was killed, Garrison replied grimly. By Demur and a mercenary.
The one you imprisoned, Sephiroth said. Out for revenge.
Now youll be joining him in the Great Beyond!! Garrison shouted. You should NEVER have uttered her sacred name!!
Garrison brought his sword down, barely cutting Sephiroth.
But the pain was searing. The energy field around the blade could make even the weakest of attacks lethal.
Sephiroth swung at Garrison with the Masamune. The blades connected with a clang. Which meant that Garrisons sword still had an actual blade made of metal. Sephiroth had one chance. It was a gamble, but it was his only hope.
He sheathed his sword, and got into a battle stance.
Wall! Aeris shouted, casting the mystical barrier which would block out physical and magical attacks.
A bullet deflected of it, and Aeris nearly jumped. Even though the Barrier could protect her, she still didnt feel safe with bullets stopping inches from her face.
Damn!! Bruce Robeson cursed. He couldnt crack the Wall without a Destruct Materia. Just shooting at it would be a waste of bullets. Meanwhile, he noticed a green aura appearing around Aeris.
Ultima... she whispered. The green Materia orb flared up as what felt like flames burned through her being, coursing through her and at her target, exploding with extreme magical energy. The attack was painful, and Aeris hated using it. But with her teammates preoccupied with the rest of SOLDIER, she couldnt just stand here waiting for someone to rescue her. Tifa mightve been able to wait for Cloud to come to her rescue, but Aeris didnt like being treated as a damsel in distress.
The Ultima spell surged through every fiber of Bruces being, sending his senses into overload. He had heard about the effects of the Ultima spell, but he had never experienced it. There would be no lasting damage or injuries, however. He just felt like he wanted to die.
Slowly, he brought his gun up, prepared to fire at someone... anyone. But then, it flew out of his hands. The last thing Bruce saw before blacking out was the face of Jonah Strife before his fist hit Bruce in the head.
You all right? Jonah asked, turning to Aeris.
Yes, Aeris replied. Thanks.
Her eyes immediately darted around. Cloud and Sephiroth were faring fine against their opponents, but Cid and Knolan were having trouble with Calibretto. Yuffie seemed to have defeated her opponent and came to the assistance of Cid and Knolan.
Ill help the others against Calibretto, Jonah said. You keep an eye on Cloud and Sephiroth, heal them if they ever need it.
Aeris nodded as Jonah ran over to the others.
HIGHWIND, WHERE THE FUCK ARE YOU?!? Cid cursed, shouting into the mic on his jacket.
[[Were in as close as we can get, Captain,]] the pilot replied.
Cid cursed silently to himself. This war golem was tough, and even though the Materia brat had come to help them, there was no chance they could defeat this thing.
Im gonna try something, Knolan said, concentrating. Cover me.
Easier said than done, old man!! Yuffie exclaimed, casting spells on Calibretto.
Hand to hand? Garrison asked, looking at Sephiroth with shock. You truly ARE insane!!
You forget that my DNA is compromised by Jenova, Sephiroth said. Which increases my natural strength to above peak-human levels!! How else could I wield the Masamune?
There you go again!! Garrison said. Taking the EASY way out!! Ive worked and trained hard for EVERYTHING in my life!! While you were able to get the position of General by barely breaking a sweat!! You have been able to breeze through life while Ive had to try my hardest to work my way up!!
Breeze through life? Sephiroth asked. My life has been nothing more than a living Hell!! And now, I shall send you there!!
Sephiroth threw a punch, connecting with Garrisons jaw.
Can you fight without your sword? Sephiroth asked. Or must I resort to using Materia?
Garrison stood silent, his sword at the ready. Blood trickled down his chin from Sephiroths blow. He said nothing, and made no motion to move.
Well? Sephiroth asked. Choose quickly. My temper grows short.
Garrison locked his eyes with Sephiroth and sheathed the sword on his back. He cracked his knuckles and got into a similar battle stance.
Lets just get this overwith, he said.
Energy began to gather around Knolans staff. He mouthed a few silent words and then aimed the staff at the wall, causing a giant ball of energy to blow a large hole in it.
More energy came, this time surrounding each member of Avalanche, the spell causing them to slowly rise off the ground.
Float spell.... Knolan said. Hurry and get to the Highwind!!
This is....urp...weird.... Yuffie said, making her way out the gap.
Garrison looked to see his opponent float of the ground. Then he heard Knolan order them to get to the Highwind.
No!! he shouted. Stop them!!
A word of advice, kid, Knolan said. Get a hobby.
More energy, this time causing a rising flood to take down SOLDIER. It wasnt much, but it was good for an escape path.
YES!! Yuffie exclaimed once she was on the deck of the Highwind. WE DID IT!!! WE ACTUALLY DID IT!! SCORE ONE FOR THE GOOD GUYS!!
Dont get too cocky, Yuffie, Cloud ordered. We still need to find out whats on this disk. And maybe itll give us a clue as to where Rain is.
But first we need a computer, Jonah said.
No problem there, Cid replied. Theres one in the Operations Room.
Cloud handed the disk to the crew member in the Operations Room. He then walked over to the large screen at the back and slid it into the slot. The file came up on the large screen.
Kidnapped by Shin-Ra at the age of 1 to be used as a test subject whose purpose was to create the perfect assassin, code-named Project Deadpool, Cloud read. Strifes DNA contains a dormant gene which is not found in normal humans. However, a catalyst is required to release the gene, thereby unlocking Strifes true potential. Using Mako and Jenova therapy, I was able to unlock the catalyst. However, Strifes body became horribly disfigured in the process, and the therapy also drove him a little insane. It worked, though. Strifes power is so great that it may even rival that of Sephiroths. A delightful fringe benefit was also discovered. Like Sephiroth, he has an uncanny healing ability, but Strife takes it one step furthur. He can actually regenerate lost limbs!! This is the first step in discovering the key to unlocking this gene within all humans, thus creating an army of super soldiers to do my bidding. His skill with weapons is incredible. I named him Deadpool and he was given a red and black ninja-esque uniform, which can be seen below. We released him to monitor his progress and sure enough, he became an assassin.
I had Strifes brother in my hands for a short period of time, but the time was insufficient to finish the therapy. Therefore, Strifes gene remains dormant. After all the research I have gained from Rain Strife, I cant help but wonder what Ill discover if I am able to use this gene therapy on the rest of the Strife bloodline. And with new evidence that Jonah Strife is still alive, I may still get that chance. Thats it.
Monster... Jonah cursed. Nothing more than a monster!! Ill kill him myself!!
We need to discuss our options, Cloud said. Were faced with a few problems here. One, we have to stop Bizarro-Sephiroth and Meteor, but the barrier over the North Crater prevents us from entering it. We also have the Shin-Ra on our tails. I also want to find out more about my brother, and we have to stop Hojo before he can find out more about this. He tried to unearth the Zodiac stones, and thankfully, we were able to stop him and destroy the time machine. But if he can find the rest of them, then weve got trouble. And after everything thats happened lately, I dont know if well have the strength to fight Bizarro-Sephiroth when the time comes.
I can help out there, Knolan said. For one, I need to find out more about the Ultimate Summon, but I only have so many references. If I can find a place that has a large number of magic references, I might be able to decipher it.
Cosmo Canyon, Red said. Cosmo Canyon has what you require!! There is a vastly large library there with nearly every book in existance. And Grandpa can help you with your search!!
Yeah, thatd be great, Knolan said. Im gonna need all the help I can get, and Baakusa can continue the search back at my home.
So well head over to Cosmo Canyon and see if we can get any help from Bugenhagen, Cloud said. It sounds like a good plan. Cid, tell the pilot where to take us.
Cid nodded and ran off to the cockpit.
Cosmo Canyon hadnt changed one bit since Avalanche was last here a few months back. Although, there werent many people outside anymore. On their last visit, there were children playing out here, but now they were nowhere to be seen. Cloud could only think of one reason why.
Meteor. Staring them right in the face, ready to fall without a moments notice.
This way! Red exclaimed, running up the stairs leading to Bugenhagens house. Grandpa is up here!!
Cloud grinned. Red was definately happy to be home again. But would there be a home for Red to return to? Will there be a Red for Cosmo Canyon to welcome back? What right did Cloud have to lead them on a suicide mission?
Stop worrying so much, Tifa said.
What? Cloud asked. I-I dont know what youre talking about.
Yes you do, Tifa replied. Youre worried about Meteor. Youre worried that we wont be able to stop it.
Damn. She knew him so well.
I know things are probably a little hectic for you right now, she continued. But it will get better. I promise.
Can you honestly make that promise, Tifa? Cloud asked. How can you be sure that were going to be able to stop this?
I--Im not, Tifa replied. Its just a feeling that I have. Besides, if we dont look forward, then were bound to run into something.
You and Barret suck at making analogies, Cloud grinned.
Hey!! Tifa protested. Well, I havent heard you come up with anything better!!
Cloud snickered. It had been awhile since he smiled. Tifa had that effect on people. She always wants to cheer people up when theyre feeling down. And Cloud cant recall one time when she failed.
So, thats how it goes, eh? Bugenhagen asked.
Yes, Cloud replied. We need to find out more about this Ultimate Summon spell. And Red told us that Cosmo Canyon has a large library.
That we do, Bugenhagen replied. Ill gladly let you search for what youre looking for. Ill help you as well.
Thatd be gre-- Cloud began. The PHS started to ring. He slowly reached for it.
Shen....? Cloud asked cautiously.
[[No,]] the man at the other end replied. [[My name is Cardinal. I serve Master Barek Siamo, the leader of Strike Force. Mr. Siamo would like the assistance of Avalanche to--]]
[[Hey Cardinal!!]] a loud voice on the other end shouted. [[LEMME HAVE IT!!!]]
There was some shouting heard and Cloud moved the device away from his ear.
[[Hello?]] the new speaker asked.
Who is this? Cloud asked.
[[The names Deadpool.]]
Cloud froze. Deadpool, Project Deadpool, Rain.
Would your real name happen to be Rain Strife? Cloud asked.
[[Depends on who wants ta know,]] Deadpool replied.
Cloud Strife, he said.
Hello? Cloud asked.
[[Cloud Strife you said?]] Deadpool asked. [[HOLY SHIT!! WE HAVE THE SAME LAST NAME!! ISNT THAT A COINCIDENCE?!?]]
Actually, Im your brother, Cloud replied.
[[Really?]] Deadpool asked. [[Sweet. Anyhoo, we need Avalanches help, cause weve got the Shin-Ra on our tails, too.]]
Wed be glad to help!! Cloud exclaimed. Where are you?
[[Some big mansion in Costa del Sol,]] Deadpool replied. [[Ya cant miss it. Well, see ya soon.]]
Cloud pocket the PHS and looked at Avalanche.
Get to the Highwind, he ordered. Were going to Costa del Sol. I know where my brother is.
Its all set, Deadpool said, sitting back in his chair. Avalanchell be here soon. An it turns out my brothers their leader!!
So now we just wait, Barek said. Sounds good to me.
There was a knock on the door.
That must be them, Cardinal said. Ill go answer it.
Wow.... Deadpool said, flipping through TV channels. 256 channels and not a damn thing to watch.
Sir.....s? Cardinal asked, slowly walking back into the room.
They here? Mercedes asked.
Not exactly... Cardinal replied.
Several MPs walked behind Cardinal, their guns trained on Strike Force. One of them had a gun pressed to Cardinals head.
Cardinal, Cardinal, Cardinal, Deadpool sighed, shaking his head. How many times do we hafta tell you that those girl scout cookies may LOOK appealing... but when you answer the door, its just a bunch of soldiers with guns.
All of Strike Force drew their weapons, ready to spring on the MPs.
Stop!! Barek ordered.
Thats right, the commander said. One false move and Jeeves here has to clean up his own brains. You people are coming with us.
Says who? Tetsuo asked.
President Rufus, the commander replied. Theres a chopper waiting outside. Now hurry up and get in it!! My trigger finger is getting itchy.
The other MPs cuffed Strike Force.
He couldve fixed his own breakfast, Kurosawa muttered. But NOOO!!! He had to hire a butler!!
Another man with a very large build and a massive sword strapped to his back walked in.
Garrison... Lara cursed, glaring at him.
Its been a long time, Lara, Garrison said.
Not long enough, bastard... Lara replied.
Ouch, Garrison said. He then turned to the commander. Take them back to Shin-Ra HQ. Leave Barek for me.
Yes sir, the commander replied.
You havent changed, Garrison, Lara said.
Dont pretend to understand this, Croft!! Garrison shouted. Your valiant leader killed my fiancee the night before the wedding!!
It was a mission like any other mission, Barek said. I was ordered to kill you, but instead I found her. And Demur said she would be a better target. So we killed her instead.
I never knew you to be so.... cold, Barek, Edge said. Im impressed.
I think thats sick, Mercedes said. Whatever he does to you Barek, you deserve.
Garrison drove his fist into Bareks stomach, causing the mercenary to fall to the ground.
Didnt you...qu--quit SOLDIER? Barek asked.
Yes, Garrison replied, delivering another blow. But after you killed Vionna, I felt a need to rejoin, just so that I could find you and kill you!!
He turned to the commander.
This may take awhile, he said. Tell the President that Ill return to Midgar in about two hours. Oh, and one more thing. Leave the butler.
The commander nodded and threw Cardinal on the ground. He then led the others out.
Nice to see you all again, Rufus said. You all left before we could have a chat.
It wasnt by mistake, Kurosawa said.
Rufus as well, Lara chuckled. My, how many old friends will I see while with this group?
Its good to see you again, Lara, Rufus said. Sorry about your parents.
That was a long time ago, Lara said.
Does that mean we cant be friends anymore? Rufus asked.
That all depends on how much jail time Im looking at, Lara replied.
How about none? Rufus asked. No one ever said anything about jail time. But look at you. Throwing in with mercenaries.
Youre still the same old horny, immature teenager I knew, Lara replied.
Your loss, Rufus said. You couldve been the next Mrs. Shinra. Instead, you chose to be a mercenary. Your father wouldnt be happy.
Shut up about him!! Lara exclaimed. But what about you, Rufus? You always said you would do things differently.
Oh, I am, Rufus said. Unlike my father, Im going to achieve results.
You think your gonna stop Meteor or something? Deadpool asked.
As a matter of fact, yes, Rufus replied.
Thisll be good... Deadpool said, grinning underneath his mask.
Scarlet and Heidegger have already gathered all the Huge Materia, Rufus said. Were going to load it up on the Shin-Ra No. 26 rocket, and launch it into space. Upon contact with Meteor, the rocket will explode, triggering the Materia Bomb were working on. This will create a giant elemental combustion which will eliminate Meteor.
What about the barrier around the Crater? Deadpool asked. How ya gonna stop that?
Were almost ready to, Rufus replied. No doubt youve noticed the large cannon being set up on your trip here. That cannon used to be stationed in Junon, but weve moved it here. Once we have it hooked up to all the Mako Reactors, well be ready to fire Mako blasts which will reach all the way to the far northeren border. These blasts will eliminate the barrier instantly. At that time, we will send SOLDIER in to eliminate Bizarro-Sephiroth while we work on the Materia Bomb.
Okay, say this Materia Bomb WILL work, Deadpool began. You just know Palmer will probably screw it up.
Palmer has been dead for quite some time, Rufus replied. And we now have a new man in charge of the Space Program, one whos serious about his work. Unlike my father, I dont put up with bumbling incompetence.
Now where does this concern US?!? Lara asked.
I want you to stop Avalanche, Rufus answered. Theres no doubt that theyll come here to try and stop us.
We dont work for free, Mercedes said. And we dont work for scum.
You will be well-compensated for your efforts, Rufus said. Youll wait by the base of the cannon, now called the Sister Ray, and once Avalanche comes, you will defeat them in battle.
It would be interesting... Lara began. If it wasnt a suicide mission!!
Well do it, Deadpool said. The rest of Strike Force looked at him with shock. Cmon, we could use the extra cash!!
No chance in hell, Kristi said.
Aww... cmon!! Deadpool pleaded. Ill be your best friend!!
If I do this, you owe me a big favor, Pool, Kristi said.
Fine then, Deadpool sighed. Ill sleep with you after this mission is over.
Kristi giggled a little, then straightened herself out.
Avalanche is a team of skilled warriors, Tetsuo said.
What, and were not? Deadpool asked.
I dont do suicide missions, Lara mumbled.
Someone needs a hug!! Deadpool exclaimed, walking over to her. He then whispered into her ear. Trust me, Ive got a plan.
Lara looked at him skeptically.
Youll all be staying at the finest Midgar hotel, Rufus said. Well inform you once the Highwind has been spotted. At that point, you will head to the base of the Sister Ray.
AUTHORS NOTE: OK, I know this took me awhile, but what with school starting and all, it took me longer than I anticipated. So now Cloud knows who his brother is and theyre going to finally meet in the next chapter!! And in the next chapter, Ill be answering a LOT of questions. Like what Hojos role is in all this, and what the truth behind Bizarro-Sephiroth is.
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