Hel & Back Chapter 7
By Dino Pollard
There was a calm and peaceful tranquillity to the small, southern island. It appears on ship charts, as well as many maps, but it remains nameless. Virtually uninhabited. There are no flights or boats that take passengers here. Basically, the island lacks any type of civilization.
Now, that very same tranquillity is disturbed by the roar of makou engines, as an aircraft touches down on the beach. A step-ladder appears from beneath it, and several figures come out from the massive display of modern technology.
The leader of this small band is Shen Long, an ancient warrior whose appearance and fighting skills dont even hint at his true age.
Cid Highwind, the pilot of the Highwind, came out next. A middle-aged man who is often seen with a cigarette dangling from his mouth.
Nanaki, or Red XIII as he is otherwise called, the last of a breed of lion-type creatures with above average human intellect, fire-red fur, and incredible longevity. He is currently the chief elder of Cosmo Canyon.
Yuffie Kisaragi. At 21, she is the youngest member of the band of heroes. A well-trained ninja, she prefers to use her skills for stealing, especially Materia.
Finally, Zack Trimmer. A former First-Class SOLDIER Officer with a fragmented memory, and a constant battle with his inner demons.
This team comprises less than half of the band of heroes known as Avalanche. It has been five years since theyve seen any real action. They thought after the planet was saved, that they could hang up their weapons for good. However, a secret organization known as Seido wouldnt allow that to happen. Seido commissioned the Turks, mercenaries who are reluctant allies of Avalanche, to kidnap Zack, as well as Albert Gast and Elmyra Gainsborough, the biological father and adoptive mother of their teammate, Aeris. The other large chunk of their strike force is in Midgar, investigating what may be related to the rise of a new evil, a being called Helspont. Two of their other numbers, Sephiroth and Deadpool, are hoping to reestablish former alliances.
Their purpose on this island? To investigate the resting place of Helspont, and discover if he truly has been revived. If he has, then they are to contact the rest of the team and tell them to get down here pronto. Theyre not to confront Helspont under any terms. If they do, they die. Isnt it nice when things are simple?
Be cautious, Shen whispered, moving through the bushes. I can spot some Seido agents.
Good, Zack stated, drawing his massive Buster Sword. Ive been looking for a rematch
They didnt kidnap you, Zack, Red noted. The Turks did. And they had a reason for doing it.
Doesnt change anything, fuzzy, Zack replied. Red grimaced at the new nickname his teammate had given him. I was perfectly fine living on my own. I wanted nothing to do with them, or Avalanche. Thats why I declined Reeves request for me to join Shin-Ra.
Well, no one put a gun to your head Cid muttered. Ya dont wanna be here, go wait in the Highwind.
I may not like the situation, but Im not a quitter, Zack stated. Im in this little poker game, now.
Well, IM a quitter!! Yuffie stated. Can I go wait in the Highwind?
No! the other four exclaimed in unison.
Amazing Red stated, looking around.
I know, Cid chimed in. Shes 21, but she still acts like shes 16.
I was referring to the security on the island, Red noted. But I see your point.
Whats the plan? Zack asked.
Observation, nothing more, Shen replied. The more inland we come, the more security we come across. Which means Helsponts resting place must still be in the same placedead center in the island.
OK, time to call in the cavalry! Yuffie exclaimed. Oh shoot I left my PHS on the Highwind! I guess Ill just have to go and get i
Ive got one with me, Cid said with a grin.
Rassum-frassum Yuffie mumbled.
I have a plan, Shen noted. Red leap in the path of the guards. They might consider you a wild animal. Remove your headdress first, though.
Whats the point of that? Red asked.
If you just pad out there, theyll probably watch you carefully, Shen replied. In the meantime, the rest of us will sneak by.
I dont like this plan Red noted. But, its the only way.
Shen removed his headdress and he padded out of the bushes.
THE SAME RACE?! Sephiroth exclaimed. HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE?!
Jenova is an alien being who came from another planet, Maestro calmly replied. However, that wasnt the first agent Jenovas home planet sent out. Helspont was the first. And, as Im sure you know, his task was to eliminate the Eternals, whereas Jenova
Was ordered to wipe out the Cetra.
Its good to see that your intelligence is still as good as ever.
How do we destroy him?
The two stared at each other in silence.
I have to try something, Sephiroth stated. He began walking towards the exit. However, if we fail, then you will stand alone against Helspontif you even have the courage.
Teleport, he stated as a green glow appeared on his arm. And, in a flash of light, he vanished, leaving Maestro to consider his former students words.
Red stepped out into the path of the guards, sniffing the ground.
What in the the agent began.
Just some of the local wildlife, his superior informed him. Keep a close eye on him, and dont make any sudden movements. We dont know their behavior patterns. Everything on this island could be effected by the masters presence.
As they watched, the team made their way around them, into another set of bushes. Once Shen signaled him, Red darted after him.
Hmph, the superior stated. Oh well.
PUSH THEM BACK!! General Garrison Cohn ordered, swinging his broadsword as if it were nothing. Behind him stood Akira Hyroshima and Charlotte Colde, two other high-ranking SOLDIER Officers.
They were called out to the island where the Temple of Ancients was once located. Five years ago, the Temple was destroyed when the Black Materia was summoned. All had been peaceful, and there was even a town built nearby. However, there have been several reports of monsters disturbing the townspeople. Once Reeve heard of this, he immediately dispatched SOLDIER to help.
This was exactly what Helspont wanted. Garrison, Akira, and Charlotte were all powerful in their own right. With them incapacitated, they couldnt assist their allies in Avalanche.
Right now, he watched the events unfold in the flaming orb he held in his hand, deep within his inner sanctum. Hojos information on Avalanche had been very helpful. Helspont realized that the harbingers usefulness went far beyond simply reviving him. A grin spread across his inhuman face as he watched events unfold before him.
Then, there was the familiar sound of the door sensors. Someone activated the codes to open the door. Now, all it required was a simple mental command from Helspont, and the door slid open with a hiss.
The steam around him, which was necessary for his current existence, dissipated. Hojo stood in the doorway.
The flaming wall displayed another image, this one of Shen, Cid, Yuffie, Zack, and Red XIII investigating the island. Helspont immediately recognized their leader.
Weaken the defenses, he ordered. Allow them to enter.
OOF!! Deadpool exclaimed, as a bullet pierced his head. The wound healed nearly instantly. Do I hafta tell you how much that STINGS?!
Too bad, Elena stated, keeping her guns trained on him. I didnt forget how you tried to humiliate me last time.
Geez he muttered. A guy makes ONE simple mistake!!
Thats enough! Reno ordered, his nightstick crackling with electricity. Reyke, Midriean, and Rude stood by his side. It looks like youve teleported into the wrong place at the wrong time, friend.
Look, I think we can work this out Deadpool stated. I mean, were enemies and all, so why dont we just call it even and go have a beer or something.
Usually, Id jump at a chance to get plastered, Reno said. But not now. I want to know whats going on with Avalanche.
Avalanche? Deadpool asked. Avalanche Avalanche
Dont play dumb! Midriean ordered.
Im not so sure that hes playing Elena muttered.
All right, all right!! he exclaimed. Ill t
He was never able to finish his sentence. Rain Strife, the final product of Shin-Ras Project: Deadpool, possesses an advanced healing ability, which even allows him to regrow lost limbs. Yet, the one limb it cannot regrow is a head. Something Deadpool had to learn the hard way.
WHAT WAS THAT?! Reyke exclaimed.
Fan out! Reno ordered. Whatever got him might come after us as well.
No need to do that, sir.
That uniform Seido?! Reno asked, a tone of surprise in his voice. What were you thinking?! He was going to talk!!
No, he wasnt, the agent replied, hefting the large weapon over his shoulder. Rain Strife may be a bit insane, but he wouldnt betray his brothers trust. We were assigned to back you up if needed. Strife outlived his usefulness and was disposed of. Just as all who are no longer of any use to us are.
The agents spun around, and walked off, leaving the Turks to consider their options.
That was easy, Yuffie commented.
A little too easy, Red muttered. Its not like Hojo to be so careless.
Maybe so Shen stated. Yet we must discover if Helspont has indeed been revived.
Down there, Zack noted. In the clearing. I doubt that that round, metal thing is a natural phenomenon.
Youre right, Shen said. Thats the chamber we imprisoned Helspont in.
He began to slide down the path.
What are you doing?! Cid asked. You outta yer fuckin mind?!
Come on, Red ordered, as he and Zack followed Shens lead. Cid and Yuffie muttered curses under their breath as they began to slide down as well.
GET BACK!! Cloud ordered, as one of the monsters unleashed the Fire spell it had been building up.
We need to move fast! Jonah shouted over the sounds of gunfire Vincent, Reeve, Calibretto, Barret, and himself were generating.
Agreed, Cloud said. Remember: our goal is to get rid of these monsters. Dont worry about damaging the lab at all, since thats our next job. Go wild.
Ive been waitin for ya ta say dat fr a LOOOONG time, now!! Barret exclaimed, unloading round after round into the monsters. WHEN YA GET TA HELL, TELL IM BARRET WALLACE SENT YA!!
Stand behind me, Calibretto ordered. His arms, now large cannons, released streams of flames and electricity, frying the creatures.
Ones that got past the war golems assault were quickly dispatched by Vincent, Reeve, Jonah, Knolan, or Barret, while Cloud, Tifa, and Aeris began laying waste to the laboratory. Unfortunately, the near limitless number of creatures worked against the small team. There was not much they could do.
As Aeris used her Princess Guard to fend off any attacks that came her way, she could hear a faint soundalmost like a bell. She struggled to look over the scenes of battle, and saw the elevator up ahead, with the light on.
The doors opened, and there was a flash of silver and metal. The monsters were mowed through one by one, and Aeris could tell who it was.
Sephiroth. His movements were like lightning, the 8 foot Masamune moved as if it were an extension of his own body. There was only one word to describe itunreal.
Hojo had prepared his defenses well. They were powerful enough to take out any trespassers. However, he never seemed to think that his son would ever try to break into his laboratory. As the members of Avalanche watched in awe, as well as horror, they realized that the outcome was always evidentthe creatures never stood a chance.
When the trial was over, Sephiroth stood before him, his blade resting on the ground, dripping with inhuman blood. Aeris noticed that he was bone dry. He didnt even break a sweat.
Timely arrival, Vincent stated. He nodded.
Reeves secretary told me you came down here.
We cant thank you enough! Aeris exclaimed. If it wasnt for you
She was cut off by a cold glare from Cloud. She mentally sighed. After all this time, Cloud still cant accept the fact that Sephiroth is reformed. He still blames Sephiroth for the death of the townspeople of Nibelheim, among them being his mother and Tifas father. She imagined Tifa felt the same way, yet she seemed a bit more willing to accept Sephiroth than her fiancee did.
Gratitude can wait, Cloud stated. As long as this lab exists, Hojo will survive no matter how many times, or how many different ways we kill him.
So, thats what its purpose is Sephiroth muttered. I shouldve known. That monster always had a back-up plan for everything. Why should death be any different?
Lets rock! Barret exclaimed, unleashing a hail of bullets at the consoles. The rest of the team continued to destroy the machines crucial to Hojos longevity.
Meanwhile, half a world away, in a chamber separate from Helsponts. Its the current accommodations of Hojo. As Avalanche destroys his lab beneath the Presidential Tower in Midgar, he feels the loss, as if its encoded into his DNA.
Hmm he stated. So, theyve found my little secret.
He grinned as he felt something similar replace the loss.
Shen Long ran his fingers across the chambers entrance. Then, without warning, it slid open.
Hmm he muttered, drawing his sword. He turned back to the rest of the team. Come on.
Slowly, they moved in, weapons drawn, observing everything. The corridor was long, and there were many divergent paths, yet Shen kept leading them straight ahead. He remembered this place from centuries ago, when he first battled Helspont.
Steam filled the room, and there was a bright flash of light.
Cid, use the PHS to get in touch with the other team, he ordered. Or at least have the Highwind relay a message.
One step ahead o ya, Cid said, as he placed the phone to his ear.
Unfortunately, Maestro wouldnt offer his assistance, Sephiroth informed them. It seems like
He was cut off by the sound of a PHS. Cloud removed it from the case on his belt, and put it to his ear.
Yeah? he asked. Cid, what happenwell be right there!!
He hung up the PHS and placed it back in the case.
Lets move out, troops, he said. The other team needs us.
The temperature in the room slowly began to rise. As every degree increased, Shen felt a chill go down his spine. He knew what was coming.
Then, in a blaze of blue flames, it happened. He stood before the heroes, holding a flaming orb in one hand, while his cape flowed around him.
Helspont, the Bringer of Destruction, had arrived.
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