Bizarre Occurances Chapter 4
The Cat & The Keystone
By Dino Pollard
Cid took a final drag on his cigarette before tossing it out the window of
the Tiny Bronco. He reached up to his goggles where he kept a pack.
Shit, he muttered. Empty.
Red smiled. He hated smoke and pollutants. Now that Cid had finally ran out of cigarettes, he could sleep easy. His good eye slowly began to close.
HEY!!! Yuffie shouted as she ran into the cockpit from the crowded cargo hold. We almost there yet?
Reds eye snapped open as she ran over his tail. He barked at her a few times. Yuffie simply rolled her eyes. Oh, shut up. The beast simply uttered a growl in response.
Cloud grinned from the co-pilots seat. He was glad the whole team was together once more. Except for the man in the cargo hold. His first instinct was to run back there, to get everyone away from him, or to get him away from everyone. He clenched his hands into tight fists and almost considered grabbing his broad sword and killing Sephiroth right here and now. No. He thought. Hed be a fool to try anything.
Sephiroth stared blankly out the window. He watched the waterfall gush the blue liquid into the river, causing the Bronco to rock slightly. He didnt mind, though. It was rare that he had a chance to do something like this, to just think about all that has happened. He wondered what he would do once the imposter was killed.
Its beautiful, is it not? Vincent asked from behind. Sephiroth nearly drew his sword in surprise, but relaxed himself when he saw Barret scowling at him. It wouldnt be wise to attack anyone now. At least not until after I kill that imposter with my bare hands. Sephiroth turned back to the window.
Theres a cave above that fall, Vincent said. Lucrecia loved it. She even brought me to it once.
Lucrecia, Sephiroth said the name like it was a curse. Again with your lies. I need proof!!
Very well, Sephiroth, Vincent calmly replied. Ill get you your proof right now.
Vincent moved towards the cockpit when Cid burst in.
Get ready to dock you lazy fucks, he ordered.
I need to take Sephiroth to the cave above the fall, Vincent responded.
Cloud came in and shook his head. No time. We need to get to the Gold Saucer and find the Keystone.
Very well, Vincent said, a tone of disappointment in his voice.
After leaving the Bronco on a nearby beach, Avalanche made the small hike to North Corel, where they boarded the tram heading for the Gold Saucer. When they were all gathered in the Saucers main entrance, the team turned to Cait Sith.
OK cat, Barret began. Wheres the Keystone?
Dio probably has it displayed in his Show Room, Cait replied. Follow me. Cait lept into the entrance leading to the Battle Square with the rest of the team following.
Hey!! Yuffie cried out. Cant we have some fun first? Everyone else simply ignored the young ninja. HEY!!! WAIT UP!!!
The Gold Saucer was connected to each different area via a sort of elevator which essentially sucked a person to the next level.
OK cat, Cloud said. Lead the way. He stepped aside and motioned for Cait to go ahead. The toy cat nodded and bounded up to the Battle Square.
Once inside Dios Show Room, the team searched for the Keystone.
What the hells goin on here? Cid asked. He turned to Cait. You said the Keystone was here.
I thought it was, Cait replied.
Well where is it now? Cloud asked, a demanding tone in his voice.
Heh heh, long time no see boy, A voice from behind them said.
Dio...? Cloud asked. He turned to see Dio standing there, wearing his trademark thong instead of pants, his stragly blonde hair falling past his shoulders.
In the flesh, Dio replied.
Hey Dio, Cait began. Wheres the Keystone? I thought you said you had it?
I did, Dio replied. Bought it from a weapon seller just across the river. But a man came in here and after showing me his skills in the Battle Arena, he asked for it instead of exchanging his battle points for a prize. I got the feeling that it would be a bad idea to disagree with him.
Aeris pulled Sephiroth forward. Reluctantly, Sephiroth allowed her to. Did he look like this man? Aeris asked Dio.
Nope, Dio replied. The rest of the team looked surprised. Not a thing like him. It was a fellow by the name of Shen... something or other.
SHEN LONG?!?! Yuffie asked.
Yeah, thats it, Dio answered. He just took it back a few seconds ago. If you hurry, you should be able to catch him at the tram.
Cloud turned to the others. OK, so lets head back to the Tram.
Yuffie ran ahead of the group. She was eager to meet this Shen Long. That much was obvious, and she knew it too. Up ahead, the group saw a man with a sword strapped to his back talking with a worker or repairman.
Shen Long...? Cloud asked the man.
Yes? Shen replied, turning to face the group.
ITS YOU!!! Yuffie cried. The great Shen Long!!!
You know dis foo? Barret asked.
Not personally, Yuffie replied. But hes a legend in Wutai. My dad knows him.
Ahh, so you must be Yuffie, Shen said. Godo has told me so much about you that I feel as if I already know you. Yuffie blushed and turned away. Aeris tried to keep a small giggle escaping from her.
Anyway, Cloud began. You have the Keystone, and we need it to get to the Temple of Ancients.
Yes, you are those rebels, Shen replied. Avalanche is it? Cloud nodded.
If were going to stop Shin-Ra and Bizarro-Sephiroth, we need the Keystone, Cloud stated.
Shen nodded. Very well, he said. Ill give it to you on one condition.
Which is? Cloud asked.
Allow me to join you, Shen responded.
Im not sure... Cloud said. Why?
I will tell you on the tram. Shen replied. Unfortunately, its not operational right now.
What? Barret asked. What you mean it aint workin?
Hey!! Cait spoke up. We can stay at the Hotel. They know me there.
Its the best solution, Red said turning to Cloud. What do you think, Cloud?
Lets do it, Cloud answered. As long as were stuck here, we might as well get some rest.
Avalanche had all gathered in the lobby and the entire team turned to Shen, their newest member.
I suppose you wish to know why I want to join you, Shen began. Very well. I was once a trainer for Shin-Ra. I was asked several times to join SOLDIER, but refused. I trained many of the SOLDIER officers and MPs. But when the war began, I left Shin-Ra and aided Wutai in the battle. Unfortunately, they had overwhelmed us, and Wutai lost. I blamed myself. I couldnt bring myself to the people that died because of me. I went searching the globe. My travels brought me to Cosmo Canyon where I learned much of the Study of Planet Life. That is when I decided to fight against the Shin-Ra, killing every MP and SOLDIER officer I found. When I returned to Wutai, I saw you and knew that you were after the Shin-Ra as well. I overheard you talking of the Keystone to enter the Temple of Ancients, I immediately boarded a boat to Costa del Sol. From there, I captured a chocobo and headed to North Corel where I boarded the tram to the Gold Saucer. And the rest, you already know.
Whoa, Cait said. Now what about you, Cloud? Whats going on? I dont know because I wasnt here from the beginning.
Ive been here since the beginning and I STILL dont know whats goin on! Barret exclaimed.
OK, Ill explain it, Cloud replied. Were after the Bizarro-Sephiroth, who is essentially a Sephiroth-clone with the wrong tattoo number. He thinks hes the real Sephiroth and he wants to find the Promised Land with Jenova. Against my wishes, Sephiroth joined up with us in order to stop him. Now, hes headed to the Temple of Ancients for some reason.
The Promised Land? Cait asked. Whats that?
Its a land that promises supreme happiness for the Cetra, Aeris said.
Cetra? Barret asked. That some kinda disease?
Aeris allowed herself a slight giggle before continuing. The Cetra is what the Ancients call themselves. Didnt you listen to the elders at Cosmo Canyon? Barret shruged his shoulders. No one knows where the Promised Land is. You just keep travelling until you feel it. Thats the Promised Land.
Aeris, can you feel it? Cloud asked.
Im not sure, she replied. All this buisness of Jenova and Bizarro-Sephiroth is interfering. Its as if Bizarro-Sephiroth shouldnt be. As if hes a being far advanced from us.
How do you know so much? How could you feel the Promised Land? Shen asked.
Im the sole-survivor of the Cetra. Aeris replied. Anyway, Im not sure I can do this right now. Im going to bed. Aeris ran up the steps to her room.
What? Yuffie stated. Just like that? Pffff. Im going to sleep. AND NO WAKING ME UP EARLY!!!! Yuffie followed Aeris to her room.
The thing I dont understand is why Bizarro-Sephiroth is headed to the Temple of Ancients, Vincent said.
I know why, Sephiroth replied. The remaining group looked at him. Inside the Temple is the Black Materia, which can summon the ultimate destructive magic. The imposter does not know the forces he tampers with.
What about the men in the black capes? Cait asked. Theyve all got tattoos on them.
Theyre Sephiroth-clones, Sephiroth replied. Hojo created them five years ago after my death.
Cloud, Red said. I have the number 13. Does that mean Im going to go insane too?
Where did you get that tattoo? Cloud asked.
From Hojo, Red winced at the name. Everything else is just war scars, but the tattoo was done by Hojo.
Well, youve been alright so far, Tifa said. Be strong,
But... Red began.
Stop it, Red!! Tifa shouted. Be strong!!
Tifa... Cloud broke in.
Youre not the only one whos worried, Cloud. Tifa said, running up to her room.
OK, lets all get some sleep and well meet down here tomorrow morning, Cloud said. Shen, Cid, Cait, Barret, and Red followed Cloud up the stairs. Sephiroth began to follow.
Wait, Vincent ordered Sephiroth. Im going to the cave. If you want your proof, follow. Sephiroth nodded and followed Vincent out the door.
After taking the now-operational tram back to North Corel and a long hike up the mountain, the two reached a lake on the other side with a waterfall on the side of the mountain.
Some cave, Sephiroth stated, arms folded.
Follow me, Vincent replied. He walked behind the waterfall leading to a cave. Inside the two saw a woman kneeling in the center.
Lucrecia...? Vincents eyes began to light up as he spoke those words. His heart stopped still.
Vincent... Lucrecia replied.
So, this is the woman you claim to be my mother? Sephiroth asked.
Vincent is that, is that... Sephiroth? Lucrecia asked. Vincent nodded.
There Sephiroth, Vincent said. There is your mother, Lucrecia.
Dont make me laugh, Sephiroth replied.
Sephiroth, hes speaking the truth, Lucrecia said. Come here. Although he didnt want to, there was something that told Sephiroth to believe her. He slowly walked to her.
See my past, and discover your own, she said as she placed gentle hands on Sephiroths head. Images flashed through his mind. Images of what had happened. Images that she would choose to forget.
Sephiroth nearly fell over in shock. Now, he realized that every word of Vincents story, every seemingly fabricated word, was...
...True he said. God help me... what have I done?
Shhh, its okay, my son, Lucrecia said, offering him some reassurance. Listen to me Sephiroth. The one they call Bizarro-Sephiroth isnt you. Hes not a clone, but something else.
What? Sephiroth asked.
I... cant say, Lucrecia replied sadly. You must discover that on your own. And please, allow Vincent to be your guide. He only seeks to help you as I never could. He will help you deal with your pain.
You... youre right, Sephiroth turned to Vincent. Lets go. Vincent nodded.
Goodbye Lucrecia, Vincent said to his love. I promise I will return.
Cait Sith walked to the tube leading the the Chocobo Square.
Whew, lost em, He said. He looked at the Keystone. Good.
Sephiroth and Vincent walked into the Station.
Cait Sith? Vincent asked.
He has the Keystone! Sephiroth exclaimed.
Uh-oh, Cait said as he jumped into the tube.
I think he went this way!! Cloud cried from behind the two. Oh great. You brought him back.
Not now, Cloud, Vincent said. We need to get the Keystone back.
THAT LITTLE THIEF!! Yuffie cried out. The rest of the team looked at her strangely. What?
Youre one to talk you little bitch, Cid cursed.
I believe we have more important things to do, Red said. Cloud nodded and led the group into the Chocobo Square.
Cait looked around eagerly.
He said hed be here... Cait told himself.
Who said that, cat? Barret shouted, aiming his gun-arm at Cait. A helicopter approached.
Him, Cait said. Here ya go!! He tossed the Keystone up to the helicopter where Tseng was standing.
Good work, Tseng said as the chopper flew off. Cait turned to find himself face-to-face with the Masamune.
Tell me theres a reason I wont kill you, Sephiroth stated coldly.
OK, yes, Cait began. Im a Shin-Ra employee sent to spy on you. But were not completely enemies. What are you gonna do about it? Kill me? Youd just be wasting your time. This bodys just a toy. My real bodys at Shin-Ra Headquarters. So why dont we just continue our journey?
No way, cat. Cloud replied, drawing his sword. Youve got a lot of nerve pretending to be a friend, but really being a spy.
You leave me no choice. All of a sudden, a higher voice came out of the toy cats mouth. Papa? Tifa?
...Marlene? Aeris said.
Hey!! Its the flower lady!! Marlene said. Hi flower lady!! Then Caits normal voice returned. So you have to do exactly what I say.
Youre the lowest... Cloud said.
You sonnuva bitch!! Barret shouted.
Hey, watch the language theres children present, He motioned to Yuffie.
I am NOT a child!!! Yuffie demanded.
I didnt want to do this, Cait said. Using dirty tricks and taking hostages. But its the only way I could still go with you guys once you found out. Your way of life makes me think. You dont get paid, youre not praised. Yet you risk your lives to save the planet. I admire that. I want to be like that. Im coming with you whether you like it or not.
I guess we have no choice, Cloud said.
Oh and by the way, I know where the Temple of Ancients is, Cait said. Ill show you. Youll get there after the Shin-Ra, but thats just something youll have to deal with.
Back in the Ghost Hotel, Cloud finally came down the stairs to find the others waiting.
Hey Cloud, what took you so long? Cait asked. Anyway, if we take the Tiny Bronco east towards the sea, we should find the Temple of Ancients.
Fine, Cloud replied. Now he hated two members of Avalanche, the team which he himself led. So we better get going.
Lets move out then, Shen said. He looked at Cloud. Sorry, I forgot youre the leader. Cloud nodded.
Hey Sephiroth, Aeris began. Where did you and Vincent go last night?
To Lucrecia, Vincent said. She was still alive and living in the cave which she had loved to visit so many times.
She told me the truth of my past, Sephiroth stated. I am now making it a point to fight Jenovas influence once we destroy the imposter.
You just said we, Red realized. Before you said that it would only be you who stopped Bizarro-Sephiroth.
Things change, Sephiroth replied.
And in this case, for the better, Aeris said.
The tram is now in working order, so we shouldnt have a problem, Vincent said. Cloud nodded and led the new Avalanche team from the Gold Saucer. Now, the team will have to face a great challenge at the Temple of Ancients.
AUTHORS NOTE: Yep, now Shens a part of Avalanche. And I know that the title was taken from the Final Fantasy VII Strategy Guide, but so what? Anyhoo, Chapter 5 is the Temple of Ancients as well as a surprise.
Go To Chapter 5
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