Completion Chapter 3
Crescendo One: Capture
"Damn it Yuffie where are you?" Reno hung up his phone and strode back into the kitchen. He had to be at the Dojo all day and Yuffie volunteered to take Suzanna.
The poor kid would be bored in the Dojo all day. He poured himself another cup of coffee and walked out to the patio. 'I have a patio, of all things I never thought that I would have....' The red head laughed. He moved just outside of Junion for the sake of his daughter more then anything, but the more time he spent in the country the more he enjoyed it.
The breeze was clean and calming, you could just hear the small stream that was below the hill of the property. Reno had stumbled upon the place by chance and was surprisingly welcomed by the little town. Having Turks around meant that the numerous roving gangs of mercenaries gave the town a wide breathe.
His house was attached to a larger property, he was their farm hand. Working with chocobos agreed with him. The chocobos were happy and so was Reno. The farm work had added much needed muscle weight to the now tan ex-Turk. His bangs were still long, but he had the back buzzed short and out of his way. One thing that he wished hadn't happened was that mass of freckles across his nose. Yuffie teased him all the time, '"you really do look like a crook now Re!".'
Thinking about her reminded him that he still needed a sitter. 'Maybe Rude knows where she went.' "Trigger! It's almost time to go!" He yelled out to the barn. Suzanna came out of the barn, her red hair already a mess. She smiled brightly at her father and with all the enthusiasm of a seven year old she jumped up and hugged him. "How's the hatchling?"
The freckles that annoyed Reno so greatly on himself gave his daughter this cute air of mischievousness. "Blue, an' loud." She commented, cheerily. "Find auntie Yuff yet?"
"I'm gonna call uncle Rude. If I can't find her you will just have to bother Pawpaw Reeve today."
A very Reno smirk crossed the child's face. "Yippie!"
"Go brush your hair kid." He quipped as he dialed his best friend. Reno about dropped the phone when an exceedingly not Rude's voice answered. "YUFFIE???"
A loud warking woke Cloud, the blond hero looked over to his clock, 10:30am. When Tifa left he took some sleeping pills and went to bed. He hadn't wanted to let her go, but she wasn't happy. Hell, he wasn't happy, Tifa wasn't Aeris. Missing Tifa more then he wanted to admit had given him a nice reason to "sleep it away". He usually fed his birds by 9 at the latest. The chocobo's were probably hungary. He threw his clothes on and went out to the barn.
'Something's not right.' That voice in his head warned him. Cloud stopped, listening to the cold, still dark morning. He thought about getting his Ultima weapon before continuing into the barn. Strange monsters that liked to eat chocobos had been sighted near the midgar ruins. 'If something was trying to eat them they would be making much more noise then this.' Cloud reasoned and pushed the barn door open.
Five pairs of strange mako eyes greeted him. They glowed so brightly that he could make out the facial features of every man. One man's eyes glowed a pale blue, unlike the green of his companions. Cloud jumped backwards instinctually, back out into the open. "Who the hell are you guys?"
They moved swiftly outside, the frosted grass barely crunching under their boots. They were dressed in a variation of the outfit that Vincent had been found in. Unlike the ex-Turk's old outfit, these were an almost black shade of blue, their burgundy capes did a poor job of concealing the swords each wore. The silver steal on their boots glinted in the rising sun. Their leader spoke, his voice was dark and grating as a midnight desert. "You will come with us."
"What makes you think that I am going anywhere with you?" Cloud edged to the gutter, intent on using it as a weapon if he had to.
"You have no choice,"
Cloud's eyes narrowed. He had a good idea where these guys wanted to take him. 'Never again.' "I always have a choice, death first." He ripped the pipe off the house as he spoke, then all hell broke loose.
Cloud swung the pipe in a high arch, taking the nearest man on a short flight with a crackle of breaking bone. The man flipped onto his feet as his back connected with the frozen earth, his jaw hanging open in a broken mess. Cloud was given no time to think about that as he was swarmed by the other men. The pipe split in half as he swung it at the head of another attacker. The man's head was half off, but he continued coming at the hero. Cloud rolled into the mass, taking out two knees in the process. The felled men shouldn't have been able to stand, but they did. They staggered after him, dragging their broken legs behind.
Like an army of zombies they continued despite pain. Their pale eyed leader stood in the doorway of the barn, an amused smile on his cruel features. His voice rumbled like thunder over the fight. "Give up Strife, you cannot win." Cloud ignored him, instead he ran to one of the slower attackers and pulled out their sword. Cloud swung the weapon around, but faster then even the hero of the planet was the pale eyed man.
The battered minions slid into a circle as their leader advanced on Cloud, a masume in hand. They locked blades, sending sparks to melt the frozen grass. The man's eyes widened for a split second as Cloud attacked. Omni-Slash should have finished any other man, but this pale eyed fellow refused to go down. He countered, surprising the hero. Cloud was still groggy from his drug induced sleep. He faltered, leaving a split second for the man to throw an elbow to the hero's head. Cloud Strife fell to the ground and slid into darkness.
Tifa frowned at her PHS. 'Cloud wouldn't let a call from me go unanswered.' She didn't know what to think, she was worried about him. It was noon, he should be up. She dialed his PHS, knowing he always forgot to take it out of his jeans and he would have it on him. It rang four times, then a grating voice picked up.
"Oh I - I must have the wrong number," Tifa stammered.
"Hardly miss Lockheart. Mind your own business."
Tifa was pissed. No one kept her from her friends. "Listen, you know who I am so you must know that I can hand you your ass if I ever see you. Where is Cloud?"
There was a slight laugh on the other line. "Ahh so feisty this afternoon aren't we? Cloud is with the SOLDJETSI. There is no more for you to know. If you value your life forget about him." The line went dead. Tifa stared blankly into the PHS for a full minute. She dialed Cid.
"FUCK!" Cid yelped as he hit his head on the coal reactor. Who knew under Cid's foul mouth laid the mind of a genius? He had figured out how to convert the mako reactors to burn coal fairly cleanly. The pilot had been key in bringing Coral out of it's slump. Him and his even headed new wife, Shera.
"You need ta watch yo got damn mouth!" Barret snapped. Coral was prospering after the fall of mako. Every that couldn't use solar or hydro power needed coal for fuel. The big man couldn't have been happier. Elmyra and he had been married just a few months earlier, and Coral was once again a proud city. Life was great and then Cid's phone rang.
Muttering more curses under his breathe the pilot answered his phone. "Yeah.... WOAH girly. YOU ARE DOING WHAT! Fuck no. You stay the hell there woman. Yes I am," Cid looked over to Barret. The two men walked out of the reactor. "SHERA! Track Cloud's friggn' PHS." She stared blankly at her husband, "LIKE IT'S YOUR JOB WOMAN! Yeah we will pick you up. Be careful." Cid snarled as he hung up his PHS. The then turned to Barret, "remember how I said it was boring? FUCKING SHOOT ME NEXT TIME."
Shera ran towards her husband and Barret, her face white. "He's in the Midgar ruins." Both Cid and Barret erupted into a volley of curses that could have made Sephiroth blush.
Reno and his daughter were heading to their truck. Parking in Junion was near impossible, so Reno put it in an abandoned lot two blocks away from the Dojo. It wasn't a nice section of town, but who in their right mind would attack a Turk? The night was clear and cold. He was more then ready to sit with Suzanna in front of a warm fire. Reno was digging his keys out of his pocket when movement caught his eye.
He looked over to five figures, dressed like an old Vincent Valentine. The tallest of the figures belonged to a woman. She spoke in a sharp commanding voice. "Unless you want any harm to befall you and your child, you will both come with us."
Reno slid his keys in between his knuckles and moved Suzanna between himself and the truck. "The costume party is down the ally. I don't think you know who you are dealing with."
She sighed heavily. "Have it your way." The four men around her rushed at the red heads.
"Under the Truck Trigg!" Reno yelled, as he met the faster of the four with his keyed fist. He jabbed the man in the throat and twisted, ripping his attacker's windpipe out. Reno spun and threw an elbow into another man's ribs, it felt like he was hitting steal. Reno ignored the pain and kneed the man he elbowed in the face. He kicked out at the third man, hitting him in the chin. Reno followed it through with a side kick to his kidneys. He was grabbed by the fourth man, but Reno brought his head back into the man's nose. There was a crack and Reno was released. He rolled out of the fight to glance under his truck. Suzanna was cowering near the driver's side tire. He looked up and froze, the man whose throat Reno had ripped out was standing! He had only kept one of the four men down, the one with his nose now residing in his brain. "Come on Trigg!" The little girl dashed out to her father.
"I am giving you one more chance, " The woman's icy voice slid to them.
Reno nodded to his daughter and they moved at once. Holding their left hands against their noses they both chanted quickly. As they brought their hands back down twin pyramids encased their pursuers. Reno picked Suzanna up and took off down the ally.
The woman smiled, she raised her hand and snapped her long fingers. The pyramids around her fell. She then walked over to the minions she had with her. They were groaning, mindlessly tying to escape. She moved like lightning, striking two lightly and freeing them. The third, the one with the cut throat, she flicked on the nose. Then she put one hand on his shoulder and the other on the back of his head. She twisted, swiftly breaking his neck. After making sure Reno's tires were flat she led her remaining men down the ally.
Reno stopped near a church dumpster. He sat his shaking daughter down and handed her his PHS. "Don't move. If I don't come back call uncle Rude. Do not move from this spot." Reno swallowed dryly.
Suzanna shook her head, red hair waiving furiously. "I'm scared, don't leave me alone Daddy!" She hugged Reno closely.
"I have to Trigg, I don't want these guys to get ahold of you. You crawl up there and wait five minutes okay? Don't make a sound until then." His heart ripped as he spoke, the last thing he wanted to do was leave his child in a dark ally, but he couldn't run the risk of her getting caught as well.
"Promise you'll see me again." Suzanna urged, when Reno didn't speak she pressed harder. "You never break promises! Promise me you'll come back!" She was trying hard not to cry, but tears fell down the seven year old's cheeks.
Reno hugged her tightly. "I will see you again Trigg, I promise. Now don't move! I love you, Trigg."
"Love you too Daddy." She edged back behind the dumpster and Reno headed back to those whatever-they-weres that had attacked them.
He didn't have to run long. He spied them down the ally. "Giving up?" The woman asked. Reno shook his head and darted down an ally furthest away from where he had left his daughter. They chased after him. Reno could run, it came from years in the slums. He could run a mile in under five minutes if he had too and yet the woman gained. The other two had no chance of catching up, but dogged behind like toys on a string.
He ignored the pain he was getting in his side and ran harder. He tore down ally after ally, his only concern was getting these people FAR away from where he left Suzanna. Suddenly there was a toe against the back of his knee. Reno tripped to the floor, as he tried to flip up the woman was on him.
She was straddling him, with her hands pinning his wrists above his head. Reno was amazed at how strong she was. He pushed his arms up, but she held him so tightly his wrists hurt. Out of breath, Reno stopped struggling. A sensation of helplessness that he hadn't felt in years washed over him. It was a sensation that he promised himself he would never feel again. She looked him up and down, a flirtatious smirk on her face. "I bet your used to this aren't you?" She asked with a dangerously playful tone.
"Fuck you," Reno snarled.
She smiled lecherously, "maybe later."
Reno simultaneously pulled his arms to his side and thrust his hips up, flipping the woman off of him and into the wall. "In your dreams bitch." The other men were on him before he had time to run. They were stronger then Reno, but he managed to shrug them off. The woman grabbed the back of his shirt and slammed him into the wall harder then he thought Rude could. Pinned again by this strange woman he glared into her bright mako green eyes. "Who the fuck are you?"
"Such language to use in front of a lady. Where is the child?" The woman was tall, she easily looked 6'3" Reno in the eye. Not only that, she was stronger then he was. He tried to fight her off again, but there was no avail. Reno didn't answer her, there was no point. She appraised him with her haunting eyes again and smiled. Reno shivered, not from the cold. "Alright then, we will find her later." Without warning she let go of Reno and brought a knife hand to the side of his head. She backed up as his unconscious body slid to the floor. Her minions picked Reno up, knowing her command without her having to speak.
The sky burnt with a green fire. It encompassed her, it swallowed her everything. Then she saw them, the archangels of hell. She saw the blond hero, the chosen. She saw the red fallen. She saw the one who started it all. She felt Jenova. Rovina leapt up with a start. "Midgar!" she yelled. Nanaki jumped awake at her outburst.
"We must take the trade plane to Midgar. We need to go now!" She looked into Nanaki's eye and said slowly, "The orchestra has started without us."
"What do you mean?" Nanaki began packing quickly. "Why Midgar? It is nothing anymore."
"No, Nanaki, it is where it all will begin." She stopped him from grabbing his PHS, "They are already there."
Suzanna waited. She was shaking from a mixture of fear and cold. The seven year old's breath came out in ragged clouds of mist, her tears were frozen to her face. She made no sound. No one came, 'he promised'. Suzanna knew her father wouldn't lie to her, he never had before. She was getting colder and more frightened by the minute. Noises around the ally made her jump. She eked around to the front of the church and slid inside.
A man was sitting at a large piano, he was playing a song that Suzanna knew well. A song that her father played. She stood, looking around slowly, the frost on her melting, matting her red hair around her face. The man stopped playing and looked at her. He stood quickly and stared in shock. "Well deja vu. Hello there child." His voice was calming.
She began to back up when there was a pounding on the door. Suzanna ran forward and hid behind the tall, bald priest. He looked down at her. "Some one looking for you?" She nodded. "Hide over there." He motioned to the pews. The banging began again. He walked to the door a tall, mako eyed woman stood there. "Do you need a dry place to stay?"
"I am looking for a child father," Her voice far more chilling then the winter night. "We took her father into custody, she may freeze to death outside. We doubt that she would know to come to a holy place given her father, but you never know."
The priest nodded, "I have seen no child. But what does she look like? In case I see her."
She handed a card to the old man, "She has very bright red hair, green eyes. Freckles, pretty normal country girl. It's only for her safety, her father's got some shady associates..." The woman's voice trailed off. The priest shook his head in agreement.
"I will call if I find her. Thank you for notifying me." She said nothing and closed the door of the church. The old man turned to the girl. "You do not remember me do you?"
She shook her head, "no sir."
"Call your father's friend. I trust them more then the woman who was just here."
Final Fantasy 7 Fanfic